Ministers De Croo, Goffin and De Block confirm support for the World Health Organization

Following the US announcement to end their “relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO)”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Philippe Goffin and Minister of Health Maggie De Block reaffirm their continued support for the WHO. In the midst of this unseen Covid-19 pandemic, our country advocates supporting the organization as much as possible.

The WHO plays a crucial role in coordinating the international response to this pandemic. The organization tries to prevent the further spread of the virus by, among other things, distributing medical material, deploying rapid response teams and advising and informing the general public.

In addition, the WHO also contributes in the search for adequate treatment and vaccination. The organization works on a scientific basis and calls on recommendations of specialists from all over the world.

When the WHO declared a pandemic in late January, hardly anyone could assess the scope of the coronavirus. A critical review of what could have been done better is necessary, but now is not the time to do so. Once the crisis is over, we can draw lessons in an objective and well-informed manner and make proposals to improve our approach in the future, both in terms of actions undertaken by the WHO and member states.

Belgium supports the already ongoing WHO efforts to further improve their functioning. Together with our EU partners, our country will consider how it can further support these efforts in the future and make the organization even more effective in view of a possible new crisis.

The WHO primarily assists the most vulnerable countries in their Covid-19 response. They need this help now more than ever in the fight against this virus which knows no frontiers.

Belgium therefore continues to support the WHO. We have granted an extra contribution of 2 million euros and are investigating the possibility of a second additional contribution of 2 million. In addition, our country gave 5 million euros to CEPI for the development of a vaccine.

The Covid-19 pandemic has once again shown that a virus outbreak can affect anyone. Global health is therefore a shared responsibility in which each member state must play its role. A successful response to a global pandemic depends on interconnected global systems and networks of scientific expertise, medical supply, free trade, innovation and production.