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Anonymous Donations To World Health Organization’s New Foundation Raise Concerns


Nearly 40 percent of the money raised by the WHO Foundation in its first two years came from anonymous sources, worrying some that donors may be trying to influence the World Health Organization and its role in shaping global health policy with their gifts.


Apparently not content with the billions of dollars it already receives from the multinational corporate sector and related non-state financiers, the World Health Organization (WHO) has quietly begun seeking still further funding directly from companies. Operating through a little-known WHO Foundation set up during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new funding drive is headed by Anil Soni, a former pharmaceutical executive who has been a senior advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The WHO Foundation claims it exists because the WHO itself lacks sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate. In reality, however, so dependent has the WHO become on corporate financing, its 194 member states now provide only around 16 percent of its income through membership fees. The rest comes from so-called ‘voluntary contributions’, the majority of which come from the multinational corporate sector and related non-state financiers. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is by far the WHO’s largest non-government contributor.

To learn more about the WHO Foundation, see this article on our website.