World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Wednesday the creation of a foundation that will enable it to tap new sources of funding, including the general public.
The WHO Foundation is being created as an independent grant-making entity that will support the organisation's efforts to address the most pressing global health challenges by raising new funding from "non-traditional sources".
The United States suspended funding to the WHO this year after President Donald Trump complained about its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of being "China-centric".
Trump also threatened this month to halt funding from the body's top donor altogether if it does not commit to reforms within 30 days.
But Tedros said the creation of the WHO Foundation had nothing to do with "recent funding issues."
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
He said this month that the body's annual budget of around $2.3 billion was "very, very small" for a global agency, around that of a medium-sized hospital in the developed world.He also said that the funding sources were too uncertain, being overly reliant on "flexible funding" that can fluctuate.