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Funding fuels fear, but it doesn’t have to

By The Economist at 12:50 PM 5/31/2020 (PDT)

As debate on intergovernmental organizations continues, one main sticking point has emerged: how will such an organization be funded?

Delegates of the UN-HABITAT have so far planned to get their funding from a few key nations such as the U.S. and Australia, but have stalled on the exact details. China, who, like many other countries, has seen their economy hit hard by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has admitted that though “we need to fund this IGO correctly, some countries are sitting on a lot of debt and can’t afford to contribute much.”

Besides the question of how the IGO will be funded, there is one more issue that, if gone unresolved, may lead to more problems further down the road.

What if a nation that provides a large portion of the funds decides to abruptly pull their funding? Just this week, United States President Donald Trump has announced the U.S. would leave the World Health Organization after freezing funding last month. While the circumstances surrounding the U.S.’s decision to leave the WHO were unprecedented, there is no proving that a similar situation won’t arise in the future to cause a country to pull funds from the IGO.

Ultimately, more details are needed to determine what exactly the IGO will be and how exactly it will be funded, but hopefully with more debating all details will be fleshed out to allay any fears and convince the delegates of UN-HABITAT that the proposed IGO plan will be a success.

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