African leaders have expressed solidarity with the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the global institution came under intense criticism over the coronavirus pandemic.
The US President tweeted on Wednesday that his country was considering suspending contributions to the WHO over what he described as being "China-centric"
In 2019, the US is reported to have contributed $400 million to the organisation.
The President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he was surprised by the campaign against the WHO leadership.
Surprised to learn of a campaign by the US govt against @WHO’s global leadership. The @_AfricanUnion fully supports @WHO and @DrTedros. The focus should remain on collectively fighting #Covid19 as a united global community. The time for accountability will come.— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) April 8, 2020
The Geneva-based body is headed by an African, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Mahamat emphasised that the AU fully supports the WHO and its leaders, adding that the time for accountability is yet to come.
“The focus should remain on collectively fighting #Covid19 as a united global community. The time for accountability will come,” Mahamat said.
President Paul Kagame also questioned the motives behind the attack.
"Is it Dr. Tedros, WHO, China...under attack or all of them together?” Kagame posted on Twitter.
He added: "Let's focus on the fight against this pandemic, whoever should be held accountable will come later and done properly."
Kagame who is also the chair of AUDA-NEPAD – AU’s development agency went to say that Dr Tedros as leader of WHO has the full confidence and support of Africa.
Namibian President, Hage G. Geingob also endorsed African Union’s stand on the matter, saying that WHO has done an incredible job under the leadership of Dr. Tedros.
I agree with you, my brother. @WHO, under the stewardship of @DrTedros, has shown itself to be a true flag-bearer of multilaterarism when global solidarity has become critical. Let’s hold hands in this crucial moment and focus on what matters, saving lives. https://t.co/YN34D8lZey— Hage G. Geingob (@hagegeingob) April 8, 2020
Geingob said the organisation has “shown itself to be a true flag-bearer of multilateralism when global solidarity has become critical.”
“Let’s hold hands in this crucial moment and focus on what matters, saving lives,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, weighed as well, pointing out that solidarity and international cooperation is a strong weapon against the coronavirus.
The most potent weapon against #COVID19 and its devastating health, social & economic impact is international cooperation & solidarity, which is why the exceptional leadership displayed daily by @WHO & @DrTedros during an unprecedented global public health crisis is incalculable https://t.co/fbN5v4tnqd— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 8, 2020
"The most potent weapon against #COVID19 and its devastating health, social & economic impact is international cooperation & solidarity, which is why the exceptional leadership displayed daily by WHO & Dr Tedros during an unprecedented global public health crisis is incalculable," said Ramaphosa who is also the current chairperson of the African Union.
The coronavirus pandemic has so far killed more than 82,000 people around the world.
An online petition of solidarity towards Dr Tedros and the WHO has collected over 63,000 signatures - by press time - against a target of 75,000
The Government of Nigeria fully supports @WHO and its Director General @DrTedros. We are grateful for the leadership and guidance the WHO has provided as we respond to this pandemic.— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) April 8, 2020
With #COVID19, we are in an existential battle, requiring global solidarity.