WHO Executive Board stresses need for improved response to mental health impact of public health emergencies
The 12 signatory agencies to the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (SDG3 GAP) warmly welcome the International Labour Organization (ILO) as a new member of the partnership between health, development and humanitarian agencies working to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger collaboration is essential for the multilateral system to effectively support countries in getting back on track to achieve the SDGs.
“The ILO's expertise and networks are enormous assets that will help the world recover and build back better from COVID-19,”said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “In this International Year of Health and Care Workers, as health systems struggle to cope with increasing COVID-19 cases, it's vital that health and care workers are vaccinated first in all countries so they can continue to work to keep others safe. We're delighted that ILO is joining the Global Action Plan, and we look forward to working together to protect those who protect all of us."
The ILO has staff based in regional and country offices in 135 countries and ongoing collaborations with WHO and other signatories of the Global Action Plan. Key areas of cooperation include health financing and social protection, occupational health and safety, the working conditions of the health workforce and gender equality.
On joining the partnership, Mr Ryder, Director-General of the ILO said: “The COVID-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated the interaction between health, social factors and decent work. It has highlighted the critical need for investments in all three areas. This will foster recovery and will lead to a more sustainable, equitable development path. Equally, investments in the health of workers and the health and care workforce are vital to make progress towards universal health coverage. If we are to achieve SDG3, increased cooperation is needed. By joining this partnership the ILO reaffirms its commitment to support countries during this pandemic and beyond, through a multilateral and coherent approach.”
Although every agency has a specific mandate, by leveraging their respective mandates and resources and by working together, they are each better able to jointly support countries to fast-track progress towards the health-related SDG targets through:
- Further strengthening country ownership, engagement and impact on health-related SDGs.
- Accelerating country progress by ensuring that the SDG3 Global Action Plan responds comprehensively in the COVID-19 era by supporting country-level work across the seven programmatic areas of focus (accelerators), with a commitment to gender, equity and human-rights-based approaches.
- Further aligning operational and financial strategies, policies and approaches where possible.
- Accounting for progress under the Global Action Plan and learning together to enhance a shared commitment to accountability for collaboration.
For more information, please visit SDG3 GAP website.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
World Food Programme (WFP)
Of the 128 million vaccine doses administered so far, more than three quarters of those vaccinations are in just 10 countries that account for 60% of global GDP.
As of today, almost 130 countries, with 2.5 billion people, are yet to administer a single dose.
This self-defeating strategy will cost lives and livelihoods, give the virus further opportunity to mutate and evade vaccines and will undermine a global economic recovery.
Today, UNICEF and WHO – partners for more than 70 years – call on leaders to look beyond their borders and employ a vaccine strategy that can actually end the pandemic and limit variants.
Health workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic in lower- and middle-income settings and should be protected first so they can protect us.
COVAX participating countries are preparing to receive and use vaccines. Health workers have been trained, cold chain systems primed. What’s missing is the equitable supply of vaccines.
To ensure that vaccine rollouts begin in all countries in the first 100 days of 2021, it is imperative that:
- Governments that have vaccinated their own health workers and populations at highest risk of severe disease share vaccines through COVAX so other countries can do the same.
- The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and its vaccines pillar COVAX, is fully funded so that financing and technical support is available to lower- and middle-income countries for deploying and administering vaccines. If fully funded, the ACT Accelerator could return up to US$ 166 for every dollar invested.
- Vaccine manufacturers allocate the limited vaccine supply equitably; share safety, efficacy and manufacturing data as a priority with WHO for regulatory and policy review; step up and maximize production; and transfer technology to other manufacturers who can help scale the global supply.
We need global leadership to scale up vaccine production and achieve vaccine equity.
COVID-19 has shown that our fates are inextricably linked. Whether we win or lose, we will do so together.”
Note to Editors
Dr. Tedros will be addressing the UNICEF Executive Board today at 10:00 am EST. Watch it live on http://webtv.un.org/