Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Departmental Communications

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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35. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have recently contacted the US Ambassador to Ireland regarding the decision of the US Government to temporarily halt funding the WHO; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6522/20]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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COVID-19 is a global crisis, requiring a collective, coordinated, global response.  Ireland's priority is to provide vital support to the multilateral system's efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the most vulnerable countries, protecting their people and, ultimately, Irish people also, on the basis that “nobody is safe until everybody is safe.”

The World Health Organisation, part of the UN system, is at the centre of that global response, working to control the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact. Ireland, as a member of the WHO, has been guided by advice from that organisation in our response to the pandemic.  

Recognising the WHO's important role, Ireland was the first country to contribute to the WHO COVID-19 appeal.  This appeal has since been rolled into the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims at a coherent response across the UN system to COVID-19.  Ireland is also part of Team Europe, the EU's response to the pandemic.  That collective response, focusing on global leadership and unity, remains at the heart of Ireland's approach.

There has been no contact with the US Ambassador to Ireland on the matter at hand. 

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