WHO's new fund raising mechanism seeks USD 7 bn for global health challenges

The World Health Organization has launched a new 'Investment Round' aiming to raise USD 7 billion of funds. This comes ahead of the 77th World Health Assembly that begins Monday at the headquarters of the 194-member strong United States agency.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday said that the commitment increases would contribute USD 4 billion to the agency's budget of USD11.1 billion over the four years from 2025-through 2028.

Taking to his social media platform X, the WHO chief said that the world is facing a difficult time with multiple overlapping challenges of conflict, climate change, displacement, poverty, inequality, polarization, disease outbreaks, the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases and mental health conditions.

"The WHO Investment Round aims to mobilize USD 7 billion dollars over four years to support countries to respond to these challenges," Ghebreyesus posted on X.

Addressing a media briefing last week, the WHO chief stated that the 'Investment Round' is designed to ensure that voluntary contributions, which are currently the majority of the WHO funding, will be more predictable, flexible, and sustainable.

"Our new Investment Case outlines why and how supporting WHO is essential for progress in global health and saving millions of lives. It will be launched on May 28 during the Assembly," Tedros said.

The 77th World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva from May 27 to June 1 with the theme "All for Health, Health for All."

The Investment Round is the result of recommendations by the WHO Working Group on Sustainable Financing and was approved at the 154th Meeting of the WHO Executive Board in January 2024.

It will secure funding for WHO's strategy, the 14th General Programme of Work.

During Sunday's event, Brazil announced that as part of its G20 presidency, the country will host high-level events including at the Leaders' Summit in November to support the Investment Round and rally countries to join the initiative.

Qatar Minister of Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari announced a contribution of USD 4 million in fully flexible funds to the Investment Round, and an intention to contribute further.

"Health care is a fundamental human right and we must continue to invest in the World Health Organization to safeguard our health. Unity is the key to our success," Dr Mohamed Al Kuwari said according to a statement by WHO.

France, Germany, and Norway announced that they would serve as co-hosts for the Investment Round.

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.

In last week's media briefing, the WHO chief said that during the Assembly, the UN agency will be launching a new global health strategy developed in partnership with 194 Member States and partners which sets a course for getting the world back on track to hit the health related-Sustainable Development Goals.


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