Today, at the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, Member States agreed to adopt a landmark decision to improve the World Health Organization’s financing model.
The decision adopted, in full, the recommendations of a Sustainable Financing Working Group made up of WHO’s Member States, which was set up in January 2021 and chaired by Björn Kümmel, from Germany.
In one of the key recommendations in the Working Group’s report to the Health Assembly, Member States target a gradual increase of their assessed contributions (membership dues) to represent 50% of WHO’s core budget by the 2030–2031 budget cycle, at the latest. In the last budget biennium, 2020–2021, assessed contributions represented only 16% of the approved programme budget.
The report includes other recommendations, such as exploring the feasibility of a replenishment mechanism to broaden the financing base. It also asks the WHO Secretariat to work with a Member States task group to strengthen WHO's governance, which will make recommendations on transparency, efficiency, accountability and compliance. The task group’s work will help ensure that increases to Member States’ assessed contributions will be accompanied by further reforms to the way the Organization operates.
WHO's current financing model has been identified by many experts as posing a risk to the integrity and independence of its work. WHO’s over-reliance on voluntary contributions, with a large proportion earmarked for specific areas of work, results in an ongoing misalignment between organizational priorities and the ability to finance them. The recommendations today are designed to substantially address these shortcomings.
It is intended that the gradual increase to assessed contributions will start with WHO’s 2024–25 budget, with a proposed 20% increase over the assessed contributions in the approved 2022–23 base budget. The aim is to reach 50% of WHO’s budget by 2028–2029 if possible, and by 2030–31 at the latest, up from the current 16% in 2020–21. This would mean that by 2028–2029, WHO would see an increase of roughly US$ 600 million a year in the part of its income that comes from the most sustainable and predictable sources.
More predictable and sustainable funding for WHO makes economic sense for the Organization’s contributors, with its new investment case ‘A Healthy Return’ showing that every US dollar invested in WHO delivers a return on investment of at least 35 US dollars. Sustainable financing will better equip WHO to deliver more effectively for all its Member States and their populations, for example through longer-term programming in countries and attracting and retaining expertise.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “This decision addresses head-on the decades-long challenge WHO has faced on predictable, flexible and sustainable funding. Delivering on the target they have agreed today will mean our Member States are empowering WHO to meet their expectations and truly fulfill our mandate as the world’s leading global health authority.” “Coming on the day I am re-elected, this decision gives all of us at WHO renewed confidence as we face the future,” he added.
Björn Kümmel, deputy head of the global health division at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health and chair of WHO’s Working Group on Sustainable Funding, said, “This decision is about nothing less than the future role of WHO in global health. Even beyond that, it is about what we envisage for the global health architecture: a less fragmented, better coordinated, more efficient and truly inclusive global health governance with a fundamentally strengthened WHO at its centre as the enabled leading and coordinating authority.”
- Almost 5000 people registered for Sunday’s event that started at Place des Nations
- Over 1800 took part remotely from the dedicated mobile application
The 3rd edition of "Walk the Talk: The Health Challenge for All" event held in Geneva took place on Sunday 22 May, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and supported by partners including the Ministry of public Health of Qatar, the Confederation of Switzerland, and the Canton and City of Geneva.
The event, held on the eve of the 75th World Health Assembly, encouraged people to move for their health, in Geneva and elsewhere around the world.
The Place des Nations in Geneva woke up this Sunday morning at 7.45 am with numerous activities such as a dance initiation and a warm-up session as well as the opening ceremony of this 3rd edition in Geneva. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, officially launched the event, saying: “Thank you for taking part in today’s Walk The Talk: The Health Challenge for All. My thanks to the Canton and City of Geneva for hosting us today. We are very fortunate that here in Switzerland we have access to vaccine and to high quality health care. But as you know, not everyone around the world is so fortunate. The pandemic has told the world a valuable lesson, that health is the most precious commodity on Earth.”
The WHO Director General concluded his speech with a smile: "Walk The Talk should be a daily event for everyone.”
Leading off the start of the 3km and 4.2km courses was Geneva-based Swiss marathon champion Tadesse Abraham, who was joined by members of The Human Safety Net Refugee Team of Runners and Oscar Roman Acosta, former Argentinian and Geneve Servette football champion and FIFA Legend. During the event, Tadesse said: “It’s really a pleasure to see so much people move. I think it’s clear how important sport is, we saw it during COVID time, everybody did some sport. It is very important for our health to integrate sport into our lives.”
Dr Tedros awarded 2022 Health Champion awards to two special guests, the First Lady of Croatia, Professor Dr Sanja Musić Milanović, and to Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health of Qatar.
Some 4963 people registered to participate in the event, including one walker, Marie, who expressed her enthusiasm by saying, "It was great to be able to relive this event. There's no pressure, no timer. You do physical activity as a group just to have a good time."
Yoga classes were also given, and demonstrations of Australian football by Swiss champions the Geneva Jets were available with African music in front of the WHO buildings. All these free activities were aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The event was not limited to Geneva as the 3km and 4.2km routes were also offered from anywhere in the world using a dedicated mobile application. This allowed participants to run the distance over the course of their choice. Along the way, they received audio messages motivating them to complete the challenge.
In total, more than 1'800 uses of the app were made on Sunday 22 May, a format that is proving its worth and helping people to move for their health.
The World Health Organization would like to congratulate all those who participated. It would also like to thank all the volunteers of the Staff Association who worked to make the event a success, as well as the competent authorities of the City and Canton of Geneva, without whom nothing would be possible.
The next WHO project is linked to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The project entitled Healthy FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 aims to ensure that this year’s football tournament in Doha is organized with a focus on health and safety and to ensure that it leaves a legacy by becoming a landmark and sustainable model that promotes the consideration of health, safety and well-being in future major sporting events.
World Health Assembly re-elects Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to second term as WHO Director-General
WHO Member States today re-elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve a second five-year term as Director-General of the world’s leading public health agency. Dr Tedros was first elected in 2017.
His re-election was confirmed during the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. He was the sole candidate.
“I am humbled by the opportunity provided by Member States to serve a second term as WHO Director-General,” said Dr Tedros. “This honour, though, comes with great responsibility and I am committed to working with all countries, my colleagues around the world, and our valued partners, to ensure WHO delivers on its mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”
Today’s vote was the culmination of an election process that began in April 2021 when Member States were invited to submit proposals for candidates for the post of Director-General. The WHO Executive Board, meeting in January 2022, nominated Dr Tedros to stand for a second term.
Dr Tedros’s new mandate officially commences on 16 August 2022. A Director-General can be re-appointed once, in accordance with World Health Assembly rules and procedures.
During his first term, Dr Tedros instituted a wide-ranging Transformation of the WHO, aimed at increasing the Organization’s efficiency driving impact at country level to promote healthier lives, protect more people in emergencies and increase equitable access to health. He also guided WHO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the health impacts of multiple other humanitarian crises.
Before first being appointed WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He had also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
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Minister of Public Health takes part as guest of honor in WHO’s Walk the Talk: Health For All Challenge in Geneva
Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, and senior leaders from Qatar’s healthcare sector, today took part in the World Health Organization’s Walk the Talk: Health For All Challenge in Geneva.
H.E Dr Al Kuwari was invited as a guest of honor and joined Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's Director-General, and thousands of members of the local Geneva community at WHO’s third Walk the Talk event, held ahead of the 75th World Health Assembly taking place from 22 to 28 May in Geneva.
Ahead of the start of the walk, Dr Tedros presented H.E Dr. Al Kuwari with a special ‘Director-General’s Health Champions 2022’ award in recognition of her outstanding advocacy in global health promotion and security.
The Walk the Talk event offered participants the opportunity to walk, run or use a wheelchair over a 3- or 4.2-kilometer route. In addition to those taking part in person in Geneva, many thousands of people from across the world participated remotely via the Walk the Talk mobile app. The Walk the Talk initiative aims to encourage people to be physically active and mentally well to support their health.
Speaking at the event, H.E Dr. Al Kuwari said: “I would like to thank Dr. Tedros for generously inviting myself and my colleagues from Qatar to be part of this wonderful event. I am deeply grateful to be honored with the Director-General’s Health Champions award, which is testament to the incredible work of tens of thousands of dedicated healthcare professionals in Qatar thanks to the unlimited support of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, for the health sector at various levels.”
“I am proud of our close collaboration with the WHO, especially through our ‘Healthy FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Creating a Legacy for Sport and Health’ partnership along our friends at FIFA and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. Today’s event is one of the many activities we are working together on under our partnership’s health promotion pillar as we continue our commitment to promote physical and mental health to people around the world,” added H.E Dr. Al Kuwari.
Dr Tedros, in presenting the award, highlighted WHO’s partnership with the Qatar Ministry of Public health on the Healthy FIFA World Cup 2022, and described how it is making a difference in helping mega sporting events be both healthy and safe.
“It was my honor to present a 2022 Health Champion award to Dr Al Kuwari for her leadership and action in promoting the health and safety of people in the State of Qatar,” said Dr Tedros. “WHO greatly appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with Qatar on events like Walk the Talk and other major sporting activities, like the FIFA World Cup being held later this year in Doha. Such initiatives demonstrate the great potential of sport to help people enjoy higher levels of physical and mental health.”
In October this year, the Ministry of Public Health and WHO will collaborate to host Walk the Talk Doha, building on the success of the Geneva events to bring this initiative to Qatar for the first time. Details of the October event will be announced soon.
The First Lady of Croatia, H.E. Prof Dr Sanja Musić Milanović, was the special guest at the WHO Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge, being held in Geneva on 22 May 2022.
“Regular physical activity provides significant benefits for the health and well-being of everyone,” said Prof Dr Musić Milanović. “This is why, through many years of the Healthy Living program, in Croatia we have been promoting physical activity and encouraging everyone to find their own way of being active for at least 30 minutes a day. Personally, my favorite forms of physical activity are running and walking.”
“The Walk the Talk challenge is very similar to our Croatian campaign “Walking towards health “and is a great way for all of us public health experts, policy makers and other stakeholders to show that we really do as we preach. I am very happy to walk together with thousands of people around the globe today to share the message of the importance of physical activity for health and celebrate our common commitment to the goal of reducing physical inactivity worldwide.”
During the event, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, presented the First Lady with a 2022 Director-General Health Champions Award.
“I was honoured to present Professor Dr Sanja Musić Milanović, the First Lady of Croatia, with a 2022 WHO Director-General Health Champion Award for her tireless efforts to advocate for the strengthening of health promotion programmes around the world, especially in the European region,” said Dr Tedros. “Such leadership is critical for making real and lasting change in systems that help people be able to make the healthiest choices for their lives.”, the
Prof Dr Musić Milanović is an epidemiologist and professional in the areas of obesity prevention and health promotion. She is the leader of the multisectoral Croatian National Health Promotion Program Healthy Living. Her professional efforts are focused on creating supportive environments and encouraging people of all age groups to lead more active and healthier lives which she believes is a big step towards preserving and improving health.
The WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced six awards today to recognize outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership and commitment to regional health issues. Dr Tedros himself decides on the awardees for the World Health Organization Director-General’s Global Health Leaders Awards.
The ceremony for the awards, which were established in 2019, was part of the live-streamed high-level opening session of the 75th World Health Assembly.
“At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented convergence of inequity, conflict, food insecurity, the climate crisis and a pandemic, this award recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution to protecting and promoting health around the world,” said Dr Tedros. “These awardees embody lifelong dedication, relentless advocacy, a commitment to equity, and selfless service of humanity.”
Honorees of the Global Health Leaders Awards
Dr Paul Farmer
Dr Farmer, who passed away in his sleep in February, 2022 in Rwanda, was Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners in Health. He was co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health, an international non-governmental organization established in 1987 to provide direct health care services, research and advocacy for those who are sick and living in poverty.
Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. Wingdie “Didi” Bertrand, co-founder and President of Women and Girls Initiative, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.
Dr Ahmed Hankir
A British-Lebanese psychiatrist, Dr Ahmed Hankir is Senior Research fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research in association with Cambridge University and Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at the King’s College London in the United Kingdom. He also works in frontline psychiatry for the NHS at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and serves as Visiting Professor of Academic Psychiatry at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies in Cape Canaveral, in the United States of America.
While in medical school in the UK, he developed a debilitating episode of psychological distress, triggered by the traumatic events when living in Lebanon. He is author of The Wounded Healer, an anti-stigma program that blends the power of the performing arts and storytelling with psychiatry, which has been integrated into the medical school curriculum of four UK universities. He is also known for his work on Muslim mental health, islamophobia and violent extremism.
Ms Ludmila Sofia Oliveira Varela
A youth sports advocate from Cabo Verde and player of the Cabo Verde national volleyball team, Ms Oliviera Varela’s work to facilitate access to sports for all provides a healthy alternative to risky behaviors among young people, and tackles the growing threat of non-communicable diseases. She holds weekly training sessions for youths in Praia City.
In 2021 she was one of the finalists of the UNESCO global competition on the 'Power of Sport in a time of crisis' and she has received awards in several sports competitions in the African Region.
Polio workers in Afghanistan
Also honored were eight volunteer polio workers who were shot and killed by armed gunmen in Takhar and Kunduz provinces in Afghanistan on 24 February 2022. Four of these polio workers were women. The eight volunteers were reaching thousands of children through house-to-house campaigns in north-eastern Afghanistan.
Their work was crucial in a country where wild polio virus type 1 is still circulating. Their names were Mr. Mohamamd Zubair Khalazai, Mr Najibullah Kosha, Mr Shadab Yosufi, Mr Shareefullah Hemati, Mrs Haseeba Omari, Ms Khadija Attaee, Ms Munira Hakimi and Ms Robina Yosufi and her brother Shadab.
ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist Workers)
ASHA (which means hope in Hindi) are the more than 1 million female volunteers in India, honored for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system, to ensure those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services, as shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASHAs worked to provide maternal care and immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension and tuberculosis; and core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation, and healthy living.
Mr Yōhei Sasakawa
Mr Yōhei Sasakawa is the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, and Japan's Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by leprosy. For more than 40 years, he has continued his global fight against leprosy as well as its stigma and social discrimination.
As chairman of The Nippon Foundation, Japan's largest charitable foundation, Mr Sasakawa has been a pioneer in guiding public-interest activities by the private sector in modern Japan.
WHO and partners are working to better understand the extent and cause of an outbreak of monkeypox. The virus is endemic in some animal populations in a number of countries, leading to occasional outbreaks among local people and travelers. The recent outbreaks reported across 11 countries so far are atypical, as they are occurring in non-endemic countries.
There are about 80 confirmed cases so far, and 50 pending investigations. More cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands.
WHO is working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected, and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease. We continue to convene meetings of experts and technical advisory groups (such as the meeting today of the Strategic & Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential [STAG-IH]) to share information on the disease and response strategies.
WHO continues to receive updates on the status of ongoing outbreaks in endemic countries.
Monkeypox spreads differently from COVID-19. WHO encourages people to stay informed from reliable sources, such as national health authorities, on the extent of the outbreak in their community (if any), symptoms and prevention.
As monkeypox spreads through close contact, the response should focus on the people affected and their close contacts. People who closely interact with someone who is infectious are at greater risk for infection: this includes health workers, household members and sexual partners.
Stigmatizing groups of people because of a disease is never acceptable. It can be a barrier to ending an outbreak as it may prevent people from seeking care, and lead to undetected spread.
As the situation is evolving, WHO will continue to provide updates we learn more.
The WHO interim recommendations for the use of the Cansino Ad5-nCoV-S vaccine against COVID-19 are now published.
Interim recommendations for use of the Cansino Ad5-nCoV-S vaccine against COVID-19