The United States has formally initiated the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation, the UN announced on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump pledged in late May to end US participation in the WHO, which he criticised for its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to Chinese influence.
According to the United Nation, the Trump administration sent a letter to the UN providing notice of its exit from the global health group that is leading worldwide efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The notice was sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday and will take effect on July 6 next year.
That means it could be rescinded under a new administration after the US presidential election in November.
Mr Guterres “is in the process of verifying with the WHO whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met,” said his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.
Under the terms of the withdrawal, the US 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 (Dh1.4 billion) a year, owes about $200m in current and past dues.
Mr Trump’s presidential rival Joe Biden said on Tuesday he will immediately reverse the decision if elected.
On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage,” the presumptive Democratic candidate wrote on Twitter.