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The Finnish government on Wednesday pledged to increase its funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) by restoring it to the 2015 level — 5.5 million euros (6 million U.S. dollars).

In 2019, Finland’s basic contribution to the WHO was 1.9 million euros and it provided 0.75 million euros in program support. Finland also made other membership-based contributions to WHO bodies totaling 0.9 million euros in 2019, the government said in a statement.

The Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for Finland’s contributions to the WHO.

The WHO is leading the global effort to prepare for and respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finland is one of the vice-chairs of the WHO Executive Board and supports a strong WHO, the government noted in the statement.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Wednesday that the decision by the United States to suspend its funding to the WHO is “a major setback.”

Talking to the Finnish news agency STT, Haavisto said that “the work of the WHO is needed especially these days for overcoming the coronavirus.”

Earlier this year, the Finnish Foreign Ministry has already granted one million euros in funding to the WHO’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

Global problems can best be solved by working together, and therefore Finland advocates consistently on behalf of a more effective and stronger multilateral order, the government said, adding that this is also a key objective of its own program.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Tuesday that he had instructed his administration to suspend funding for the WHO, which he accused of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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