COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The World Health Organization is concerned countries will respond to the pandemic as it did to the recession last decade by making public health spending cuts.
Hans Kluge, head of the WHO’s Europe office, said “many countries in Europe” made cuts after the 2008 recession. He did not identify any country.
“Today, our priority must be to invest in health, invest in social protection and above all, avoid austerity which has devastated the lives of so many in Europe,” Kluge told a news conference.
He stressed that “there is no economy without people. There is no economic recovering without COVID-19 being under control.”
The regional office serves the U.N. body’s European region that comprises 53 countries, covering a vast region from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans.