The United States has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

The withdrawal notification fulfils President Donald Trump’s vow in late May to terminate U.S. participation in the WHO.

The US president has repeatedly criticised the WHO over its response to the coronavirus pandemic and has accused it of bowing to Chinese influence.

However, the pullout won’t take effect until next year, meaning it could be rescinded under a new administration if circumstances change.

The withdrawal notice was sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and will take effect in a year, on July 6, 2021, the US State Department and the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the withdrawal, the U.S. must meet its financial obligations to the WHO before it can be finalised.

The US, which is the agency’s largest donor and provides it with more than $400 million per year, currently owes the WHO some $200 million in current and past dues.

In late May, less than two weeks after warning the WHO that it had 30 days to reform or lose US support, Trump announced his administration was leaving the organisation due to what he said was its inadequate response to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province late last year.


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