Decline In Donations, Weak U.S. Dollar Causing WHO To Cut Budget, Staff, Director-General Chan Says

A decline in contributions from the WHO’s leading 30 “traditional” donor nations and the exchange rate for the weaker U.S. dollar are causing the agency to cut its budget and staff, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters in a news conference at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

“Budget documents show that WHO’s $4.5 billion biennial budget in 2010 and 2011 dropped by more than $1 billion for 2012 and 2013, because of fewer voluntary contributions from nations, non-governmental organizations and other donors,” the news agency writes, adding the WHO is expected to lay off 300, or 12 percent, of its Geneva-based staff.

“Because of their own financial difficulties, some of [the wealthiest nations] have cut back,” Chan said, but she added that many nations remain supportive of the WHO despite cutbacks, the AP reports (5/17).