Published: 22:30 BST, 25 September 2020 | Updated: 01:27 BST, 26 September 2020
Britain will hold back part of its contribution to the World Health Organisation until the international body gets to the bottom of the origins of the coronavirus in China.
The Prime Minister will today announce a 30 per cent increase in its support for the WHO over the next four years, costing £340million and making the UK one of the largest donors in the world.
However, it is understood that part of the funding earmarked for the previous period will be conditional on cracking down on China and the UK is understood to have demanded the body determine where the virus came from.
The WHO has been criticised for being too soft on China and US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw funding over the claims.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured in his Uxbridge constituency on Friday) will announce that Britain will hold back part of its contribution to the World Health Organisation until the international body gets to the bottom of the origins of the coronavirus in China
The WHO has been criticised for being too soft on China and US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw funding over the claims. Pictured: WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
The move comes as Boris Johnson warns today that the world must heal the ‘ugly rifts’ caused by coronavirus as he appeals for countries to come together.
In his virtual speech to the UN General Assembly, he will call on world leaders to overcome divisions caused by the virus.
His comments can be taken as a swipe at countries such as China, which has been accused of withholding information about the virus, but also Russia, which the UK has accused of launching cyber attacks to steal the vaccine, as well as the US over its WHO funding remarks.
He will also set out a five-point plan, developed in consultation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to prevent future pandemics – including ensuring free trade continues internationally.
Boris Johnson will announce a 30 per cent increase in its support for the WHO over the next four years, costing £340million and making the UK one of the largest donors in the world. Pictured: WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during Peace One Day on Monday
Mr Johnson will say: ‘After nine months of fighting Covid, the very notion of the international community looks tattered.
‘We know that we cannot continue in this way. Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose.
The Prime Minister will also announce new investment in COVAX, the international Covid-19 vaccines procurement pool, including £500million in aid funding to help 92 of the world’s poorest countries access a vaccine.
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News – Britain to withhold cash from WHO until UN finds where Covid came from