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China Promises Financial Assistance to Affected Countries

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced today at the annual meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that China will offer two billion dollars in assistance to countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially to the poorest.

The Chinese leader also pointed out that potential vaccines which China can develop against the disease, which has already caused more than 300,000 deaths worldwide, “will be available as a public good globally so that they are accessible to all developing countries.”

Xi Jinping assured that China would work together with the rest of the G20 economies to agree on a debt moratorium for the poorest countries, as part of measures to overcome the current economic crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

The financial support of about 1.85 billion euros will be released over two years, at a time when the US government has suspended payments to WHO for alleged mismanagement in the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his speech to the WHO assembly, Xi assured that China provided all relevant data on the disease to WHO and other countries, including the genetic sequence of the virus, “in the most timely manner.” And that they “share the experience of control and treatment with the world without reservation. We did everything in our power to support and help the affected countries.”

The 27 European Union members and other countries called during the assembly for an independent assessment of WHO’s initial response to the new coronavirus pandemic “to review the experience gained and lessons learned.” The EU resolution proposes that the independent evaluation takes place “as soon as possible” and should, among other issues, examine “WHO’s actions and schedules for the pandemic”.

The WHO announced that the coronavirus outbreak would be a global health emergency on the 30th of January, its highest alert level. In the weeks that followed, WHO warned countries that there was a narrow “window of opportunity” to prevent the virus from spreading globally. However, officials repeatedly described the transmission of the virus as “limited,” pointing out that it was not as transmissible as the flu, although several experts said the level of contagion of the disease was much higher. Finally, the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic on the 11th of March after the virus killed thousands worldwide and caused significant outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

Finally, the Chinese premier said that he supports the idea of ​​a comprehensive assessment on the global response to COVID-19 and that “This work must be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted objectively and impartially.”

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly