WHO's new funding appeal for coronavirus fight to top $1 bln - diplomats

By Stephanie Nebehay

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, April 9 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to launch an appeal soon for more than $1 billion to fund operations against the COVID-19 pandemic through year-end, diplomats told Reuters on Thursday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech to diplomats issued by the United Nations agency, said it would release its latest plan "in the coming days". It follows the WHO's initial three-month appeal for $675 million through April.

"It will be well over $1 billion, maybe several billion," a Western envoy said. Another diplomat who is following the discussions said that the appeal would be at least $1 billion.

A WHO spokesman, asked about this figure, had no immediate comment.

The campaign comes just as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration reviews its funding of the WHO, whose performance Trump has criticised. The United States is the biggest donor to the Geneva-based WHO. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Michael Shields and Frances Kerry)