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The Remaking of WHO Finances: WHO Could Become the First UN Agency to go the Replenishment Way; Countries Assert Their Role In Defining Health Emergencies Architecture
Newsletter Edition #189 [#WHA76 BRIEFING]
The building blocks of a new architecture in global health are being put in place. There are material changes in the way WHO, the central coordinating authority in global health is run and funded.
A year from now, the picture may be even more different, if and when current negotiations on revamping existing rules and creating new ones, become a reality.
In this edition we strive to bring you the voice of the member states - critical players who have asserted themselves in the midst of a dazzling constellation of actors that descended down on Geneva this week.
Join me in giving a shout out to my ever-dependable colleagues who helped me in bringing you this comprehensive edition - Nishant Sirohi in India, Shoa Moosavi in the U.S., Tessa Jager & Yiyao Yang in Switzerland.
Thank you for reading.
Also, check out the blistering reporting from Health Policy Watch, Devex and others, to get a flavor of the scores of side-events. I am beginning to feel that WHA is becoming the Cannes festival for global health glitterati - the place to be seen and heard.
This week, the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body also released what appears to be an intermediate draft of sorts of the Pandemic Accord. The “Bureau’s Text” was released during the WHA - it was like a cat set among pigeons. Activists and the industry have already panned it. Watch out for our analysis on this in the coming days.
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A WRAP FROM WHA76
In his opening remarks of the 76th World Health Assembly earlier this week, DG Tedros drew a remarkable arc of the 75 years of the history of the WHO, concluding with the real financial and political challenges facing the organization.
He said, “…WHO also faces its own institutional challenges. Over the past 20 years the world’s expectations of WHO have grown enormously, but our resources have not. Then there is the challenge of being a technical, scientific organization in a political—and increasingly politicized—environment. These are daunting and complex challenges. We will not solve them at this World Health Assembly, and we may not solve them in our lifetimes. But bit by bit, we are building a road that our children and grandchildren will walk down, and which they will continue to build. Sometimes the building is slow. Sometimes the road is meandering and rough. But the destination is sure, and is closer now than when our forebears began in 1948.”
This Assembly will surely be remembered as of the one the most significant in the history of the organization. Countries came together approving a decision to let WHO raise funds through a new financing proposal. While the details are yet to be worked out, this could potentially be a game-changer for a chronically underfunded organization. However this could also take the organization to a point of no return, as it will inevitably bring a small group of donors who will firmly and decisively shape the priorities of the organization. This will follow the mandate given by WHO member-states in this Assembly.
Today’s edition focuses on only two key issues, of the vast array of items discussed this week. First, we examine the discussions on the evolving governance of health emergencies that took place this week and second, on the implications of a new financing proposal approved by the Assembly.
Countries Assert Their Role In Defining Health Emergencies Architecture
Priti Patnaik with Shoa Moosavi, Tessa Jager
“HEPR” IS BACK
Countries discussed a set of proposals from the DG Tedros on the strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, prevention, response and resilience (HEPR). The proposals build on some of the ideas first discussed at the Executive Board meeting earlier this year.
It refers to international legal instruments (both the INB and IHR tracks); Standing Committee on Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response, a global health threats or health emergencies council anchored in WHO’s constitutional mandate; the use of Universal Health and Preparedness Review; World Bank’s Pandemic Fund; efforts at the G20 Joint Finance and Health Task Force for surge financing during emergencies among other processes. On the access to countermeasures, the document also says, “… WHO is convening partners and connecting key countermeasure networks and actors with agreed mechanisms for collaboration and coordination in times of crisis.”
A number of countries cautioned against fragmentation in the governance of emergencies including Russia, Argentina, the U.S., New Zealand among others.
On the HEPR proposal, the US said: “much has already been done to create and evaluate the current global health architecture, such as the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) and its accompanying Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) that focuses on core capacities to prevent the spread of disease, and we must deconflict any potential issues that may interfere with current monitoring and evaluation. At the 153rd session of the Executive Board, the United States will propose that the EB task the Sub-Committee on Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (SCHEPPR) to carefully consider the HEPR proposals, report to the 154th Executive Board on any area of potential confusion or overlap, and provide a recommendation to the EB on how to address the identified challenges.”
New Zealand said that the landscape for HEPR is crowded and that countries are struggling to engage comprehensively across growing body of initiatives, and called for clarifying roles without creating further fragmentation.
Russia said, “…We maintain our position that any instrument to strengthen the global pandemic response potential must be universal and must be adopted or approved by all the governing bodies of the WHO. And that is the only way to guarantee a central and coordinated role of the organization. Any initiatives which do not meet these criteria would only be able to be voluntary or recommendations. In this regard, we would call once again on the WHO to resist the urge to multiply new instruments and concepts, formalizing as generally accepted by all those proposals which have only been tabled by separate groups of states or countries. For example, here we have what was not discussed by countries at all, the creation of a global body on health emergencies. A call to join it was issued on the eve of this assembly and that wasn't agreed. This idea is first of all, unclear, but also it doesn't account for the work that has already been done and is out of sync with the national and regional context. Such initiatives should be pitched to countries individually before being tabled on behalf of the entire organization. Currently the WHO has 2 important inclusive processes. This is, first of all the development of the pandemic instrument, and, second, of all, the IHR amendments in which all Member States are participating. Any reform initiatives, rather all of them, on reforming the global health architecture should be and must be discussed under those 2 formats. Tabling new proposals outside of those 2 formats would first of all be superfluous, and could stymie the laborious process which has been ongoing, and it would prohibit member countries from fully participating in the discussions on these. So, we are not prepared to consider any additional reforms outside of the processes that have been mentioned from the WHO leadership.”
ON IHR-INB PROCESSES & THE DISCUSSION ON PPR
Several countries shared their concerns and priorities on the way future health emergencies should be governed.
Most countries expressed their desire for greater technical and financial support for IHR implementation. They expressed that it is inequitable to expect them to develop core capacities without sufficient resources to do so. Mexico suggested the WHO create a catalogue that identifies opportunities for collaboration and assistance to better organize support. There was a clear sentiment of nations wanting to avoid any further fragmentation regarding support for health emergency preparedness.
Some Member States, including small island developing nations, asked for greater flexibility regarding core capacity commitments, as they are challenged with having to balance competing priorities, including climate change, with limited resources.
Brunei Darussalam asked the WHO to distinguish inability to comply, from intentional noncompliance. Delegates called on the WHO to address issues of noncompliance without penalizing countries that are unable to achieve core capacities, perhaps by using an incentive structure instead. Countries including Philippines and Colombia said that weaknesses in IHR implementation should not be subjected to penalization.
Member states emphasized the importance of regional collaboration, both providing examples of steps they took to engage with other nations in the region as well as calling upon the WHO and its regional offices to facilitate further engagement.
Countries such as Gambia and Zimbabwe called for developing regional manufacturing capacities in Africa would help fortify their supply chains, even if they were not able to build domestic capacity. Better regional collaboration would likely lead to the development of IHR capacities at points of entry, which many Member States identified as a priority activity.
In addition to facilitating multilateral engagement, member states wanted WHO regional offices to play a more active role in the ongoing negotiations for IHR amendments and the new pandemic instrument. For example, the Mexican delegation thought PAHO should participate more actively in the development of a platform for equitable distribution of medical countermeasures.
Countries also indicated that they wanted greater coordination between the negotiating processes of the amendments to the IHR and Pandemic Accord.
Indonesia said that equity must remain guiding principle throughout two processes and called for synergies, complementarities between two instruments and in line with existent international obligations.
Ethiopia pushed for operationalization of equity in IHR, including support for implementation. Jamaica asked the DG to intervene on behalf of small island states to make sure there is adequate time to make contributions to WGIHR and INB, considering limited resources.
In a statement, the US said, “The United States is committed to moving forward with a package of targeted amendments to the IHR at WHA77 and ask that all Member States dedicate time and effort to that important agreed outcome…”
In a statement, Germany, as the biggest donor to the contingency fund for emergencies, said:
“…. First, on the IHR. Trust, solidarity, transparency and collaboration. This is what the International Health Regulations are all about. Agreeing on targeted amendments of the IHR is an ambitious process, and we value WHOs rich experience in facilitating the very complex discussions, in particularly with regards to strengthening systems for assessment and notification of events. COVID-19 has shown that investment in IHR core capacities is crucial. Therefore, let me reiterate that the G7 last year agreed on the pact for pandemic readiness. Within the framework for the G7 pact on pandemic readiness, we will provide support to assist at least one hundred low- and middle-income countries in implementing the core capacities required in the IHR for another five years, until 2026. Second, on the pandemic treaty. In parallel, we must seize the momentum and foster convergence to negotiate an ambitious pandemic agreement until 2024, to be prepared for the next pandemic. While prevention is key, Germany and the EU remain committed to develop lasting solutions for equitable access to medical countermeasures, including through price caps and tiered pricing….”
QUESTIONS ON NEW INITIATIVES
In a detailed statement, Brunei Darussalam raised a number of questions:
“…In addition, we seek clarification from the Secretariat on a number of key points identified in this report, first, on the creation of the WHE Intelligence and Surveillance Systems Division, and the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin. Can the Secretary and update the Committee on their respective roles, the progress in operationalizing these new mechanisms, how they are linked, and plans to collaborate with Member States’ own epidemic intelligence and response systems.
Second, on the discussions on the pandemic accord and amendments to the IHR, does the Program have any recommendations for Member States on specific items they wish to see included in this proposed text that could make their work easier and deliver better outcomes?
Additionally, if the proposed changes do take significantly longer than expected, and there is no agreement on these by the next World Health Assembly, does the program have a contingency plan that still manages to deliver on some of the issues identified by these processes, nonetheless?
Third, on the Pandemic Fund and WHE's work in supporting countries who are applying for PPR investment, does the program have a plan for supporting countries who may not be eligible for the Pandemic Fund in securing resources for PPR capability building via other means?”
NEW YORK VS GENEVA
The week also saw considerable discussion on the UN declaration on “Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness”, both inside and outside the WHA.
At a strategic round table held on the side-lines of the WHA, that saw the three processes being discussed together – the INB, the IHR and the UNGA, Omar Hilale, Morocco’s permanent ambassador at the UN, co-facilitator on the UN declaration on “Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness” said the High-Level Meeting in September will also be the first ever UN general assembly high level meeting on PPR at heads of states and governmental level.
Excerpts from Omar Hilale’s remarks:
“. Indeed, this roundtable is critical, as it is for the first time, the three intergovernmental processes that are at the core of the strengthening and improving global health architecture are brought together for discussion and direction. This demonstrates that health is not just a Geneva- or New York issue, but a highly important world issue, that requires a global, multisectoral, multifaceted approach where all countries, governments, UN agencies, civil societies and other stakeholders have an important role to play.”
He spoke about the consultations with various processes and actors in Geneva over the last few months. “These consultations and discussions will help the co-facilitators and our team to draft the political declaration for which we shall negotiating, inshallah, on the 7th of June. The political declaration will be a consensus document: concise, and action-oriented. The aim to lend the highest level of political support to PPR: to reaffirm and strengthen the central role of WHO, which is key to the global health architecture, as enshrined in its constitution. As a directing and coordinating authority on international health work, including pandemic preparedness and response. And to lend support to the work of the INB and working group on IHR amendments. The political declaration should not in pre-empt any way, in any way, the work of the INB.”
“It aims to give momentum and generates political will of our heads of states, for the Geneva process, as we stressed to the Director-General of WHO, to the INB Bureau, and to the co-chair working group of/in IHR, to Member States and other partners. The process in New York will provide the enabling environment for the international community to be better prepared for the pandemics of the future.”
In trying to understand the link between the legal processes in Geneva and the political declaration in New York, we asked Michel Kazatchkine, member of the IPPPR, that had first recommended a Global Threats Council on how these discussions would converge and if in fact it would create a problematic hierarchy of accountability.
Speaking at a side-event during the week, on “Securing Political Leadership at the High-Level Meeting on Pandemic PPR” Michel Kazatchkine, member of the IPPPR said:
“We recommended a UNGA Special Session– and a Political Declaration that would commit Heads of State and Government to a transformative package of reforms. The High-level Meeting on Pandemic this September is now the opportunity for world leaders to come together and commit to the actions and accountability necessary to prevent the next pandemic – while, at the same time, reinforcing the important Pandemic PPR processes taking place in Geneva.
You will remember that when COVID-19 first emerged and rapidly swept across the world – there was a failure of global coordination of leadership.
There was no ready mechanism to bring major institutions together, including the WHO, the many UN agencies and public private partnerships involved, the IMF and the World Bank. There was no effective global coordination aimed at measures that would minimize the damages nations and communities would suffer – on their health and health systems, economies and businesses and societies. There was no global leadership that could help to identify problems during most challenging stages of the COVID crisis and help to diplomatically unlock solutions.
We have recommended a high-level Global Health Threats Council.
More work is required to ensure people are on the same page as to why it’s required.
We note that the G7 communique issued last week committed “to further enhancing political momentum toward more coordinated and sustained leader-level governance for health emergency prevention, preparedness and response that ensures legitimacy, representation, equity, and effectiveness.”
This is language moving in the right direction.
We recommend that countries continue to seriously examine options that ensure sustained high level political attention to pandemic readiness and response.
There are options in addition to the Global Health Threats Council we proposed: They include:
- Could there be reporting to both the WHO and the UNGA? While we too believe that WHO has a central coordinating role on matters of health; we do not believe it is feasible for Heads of State and Government to report through only the World Health Assembly and Executive Board. And stress again, as everyone is aware, that pandemic threats extend well beyond the health sector.
- The Secretary General is now proposing an Emergency Platform for complex global crises – this would be a response-only platform; but could a preparedness element also be built in?
Not everyone agrees with the need for a council as first described by the IPPPR.
Ilona Kickbusch, global health governance expert, said in a piece in Think Global Health “The World Won’t Be Safer With a Fragmented Global Health System”, “Were the council established, member states would have to revisit the WHO constitution itself. That document codifies that the WHO was created to “act as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work” and to establish and maintain “effective collaboration with the United Nations, specialized agencies, governmental health administrations, professional groups and such other organizations as may be deemed appropriate. The new council would almost surely claim some of this authority.”
Kickbusch cautioned that … “Proponents of the council assume that locating it at the United Nations in New York would bolster its political clout, helping keep pandemics on the international agenda. But they overlook the extent to which the agenda at the United Nations is driven by geopolitics, security concerns, and foreign ministries rather than health.”
Countries including Canada, made a specific statement on the UNGA processes:
“…On global governance, sustaining leader-level engagement on PPR, including through the development of a potential global health threats council, that serves as a diplomatic facilitator, is key. We see value in taking a multisectoral view to health and (inform?) responses to health emergencies where other organisations across financing, social development and security are engaged in these analyses. Forward to the ongoing discussions and the lead-up to UNGA, it shall aim on pandemic PPR. We concur that there is a need for independent monitoring of global preparedness for health emergencies…”
THE MEDICAL COUNTERMEASURES PLATFORM
Meanwhile discussions continued on the new medical countermeasures platform, continued on the side-lines of the WHA. At a side-event organized by UNAIDS, Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergencies lead, cautioned against creating equivalences between discussions between agencies to those processes that are intergovernmental.
Mike Ryan said:
“….They are not equal processes. Multilateral discussions with actors are fantastic. [But] the real process is happening through the INB, the IHR revision process…These are the only agreements that existed and will exist internationally…. That is the mechanism through which any platform [will be] designed. There is no platform right now, no replacement platform. There are a lot of discussions around what such platforms can be… led by South Africa, the G7, G20…Some of those ideas answer, back to the problem, some address supply chains and downstream stuff…some at upstream issues in terms of vaccine development, and some looking at the middle around distribution…There is no comprehensive replacement platform. That is for the member states of the World Health Organization to find. We as agencies are servants of our people… things that we can help our members days to think through the issues. But I don't think we should be presuming that we are going to build countermeasures platform that has any mandate without the will and oversight of our member states. … I think we need to be very careful that we're not making equivalence between processes…
... There are many, many, members that are really frustrated right now because they can't see into this process. They can't look over the wall. The wall is too high, and they don't have the time…
We're going to be very, very careful, not to step ahead of the will of the collective will of the member states of the World Health Organization.”
(We will continue to look at this closely. See our story from last week: Medical Countermeasures Platform will be Pitched to Countries Next Week. Inadequate Consultations, Squeamish about IP, Activists Say)
THE BUREAU’S TEXT OF THE PANDEMIC ACCORD
The week also saw a new version of the Pandemic Accord being released by the INB bureau, during the Assembly. The Bureau’s Text as this is being called, will be discussed by member states in early June, and will be taken up at a drafting group process scheduled for mid-June. It is not clear at this point if this will form the basis of any negotiation. Already activists and the industry have criticised the text. (Note that this latest version is down to about 42 pages long, from 208 pages of a compilation text that had all inputs from member states.)
We will follow up with a detailed analysis on this in the coming days.
Yiyao Yang contributed to this story
The Remaking of WHO Finances: WHO Could Become the First UN Agency to go the Replenishment Way
Nishant Sirohi & Priti Patnaik
This week countries took two decisive measures with respect to funding WHO, one to pay more in membership fees, and the second that could enable the organization to raise resources from a range of actors.
A proposal for a replenishment approach will be developed in consultation with countries and will be considered at the Executive Board meeting in January 2024, senior officials told countries during the discussion on the proposal.
In his speech, Tedros asked countries to pay up more and to support investment rounds for WHO planned for 2024.
WHO received broad support from its member states to pursue the investment round. Countries including the U.S., and Switzerland underscored the need for earmarked funds. The U.S. did not approve of the proposal.
(See our previous story earlier in the week here: The U.S. allegedly threatened to withhold funding from WHO unless its text on “earmarking” contributions was agreed to in the decision on the replenishment proposal.
WHAT COUNTRIES SAID ABOUT THE REPLENISHMENT PROPOSAL
The U.S. said, “We agreed to support planning for the Secretariat's new proposed initiative for sustainable financing for WHO with the understanding that we move to a more streamlined approach of innovative fundraising through an investment round and that we are not approving a replenishment mechanism for WHO. We want this proposed investment round to succeed and we look forward to working with other Member States and the Secretariat to seek to ensure it makes a positive contribution to achieving sustainable financing for WHO”
While supporting the increase in assessed contributions, Switzerland, also said: “Generally speaking, we support the new replenishment mechanism for WHO. We see this as a mechanism that has considerable potential to strengthen the strategic use of funding and to guarantee predictability of financing for WHO's operations in order to guarantee health for all. Nonetheless, we do have to point out that we believe that earmarked contributions will remain vital to the funding of WHO for many Member States. Of course, this will take due account of priorities and national level constraints. We therefore support the wording that was agreed upon at consultations prior to the WHA. We also wish to emphasise that this kind of mechanism must be accompanied by greater traceability, accountability, transparency and efficiency in the use of resources.”
In a statement, Australia said, “…we reiterate the importance of governance reform complementing and mutually reinforcing the membership’s consensus agreement to sustainably finance the organisation, particularly through increased assessed contributions…we note Member States have agreed to support WHO to progress with planning a WHO investment round. We look forward to receiving regular updates on the proposed initiative and reporting at future WHO governing body meetings.”
In a statement, Namibia said, “…In accordance with the recommendations of the WGSF, my delegation is of the opinion that achieving sustainable financing of the WHO and securing the financial independence of the Organization should be of utmost priority . We, therefore, applaud the WHA75 decision to gradually reach 50% of the WHO’s base programme budget by the biennium 2028-2029, as well as the WHA75 decision to boost funding of the WHO through fully flexible voluntary contributions, or at least voluntary contributions which are thematic in nature, as well as sustainable and predictable.” (Note that Namibia was one of the few countries that raised concerns on earmarking contributions during the consultations last week.)
Ghana told the meeting, “We call on the Secretariat to develop without delay the investment case, the target friendly … and a roadmap for the implementation of the WHO investment round.”
India said: “India believes that there is a need to develop a WHO replenishment mechanism to comply with each of the six principles set out in the recommendation of the Working Group on Sustainable financing. Further, India would like to recommend that this need to increase cost efficiency and value for money proposition in WHO alongside a framework for delineating the accountability and value addition to Member States can also be built. Chair, in order to comply with principle 5, India would like to recommend creation of a strategic plan in order to ensure optimal outcome for all global health actors such that it aligns with strengthening global health architecture. With reference to principle 6 to guide WHO replenishment mechanism, there's need of more clarity on the priority budgeting as the priorities depend upon the demographical, economical, epidemiological aspects of the Member State.”
In somewhat of an exception, Thailand called for greater use of domestic financing: “WHO could leverage domestic sources of health financing to be spent in their own countries. Domestic finance is more sustainable in responding to countries' priorities. Countries [can get] flexibility [by] introducing tax by a charge on unhealthy products such as tobacco, alcohol and sugary and sweet beverages.”
Paraguay said, “…. We should highlight that since there is no precedent for such a mechanism, this will be an ideal opportunity to develop an alternative appropriately without entering into conflict with any prior decision or resolution of previous steering bodies. Therefore, my delegation wishes to support the development of the mechanism and the reform plan for the organisation, since it will contribute significantly to the predictability of funding for our organisation and thus it is that it will correct the low levels of funding and low level of use of funds as related to it.”
Bangladesh called for a continued increase in non-earmarked voluntary contribution through replenishment to uphold sustainability.
Indonesia called for developing a plan to map and mitigate potential issues, including on potential conflicts of interest. It called for a mapping exercise of potential investors, and to increase the frequency of consultations with member states on a WHO investment round. Like others, it emphasized the need to maintain access for member states to monitor the budget implementation for transparency and accountability.
Catharina Boehme, Assistant Director General for External Relations at WHO, told countries, “..First of all, let me reaffirm that the six principles provided by the Working Group on Sustainable Financing will form the basis for the way forward and, importantly, will respect FENSA and it will be a Member State driven process. As also highlighted by you it will really be a joint journey. A lot of work is ahead of us. We have to take a step-wise approach and we will work hand-in-hand with you, our Member States, in developing a full plan for consultation, including with the regional committees for your consideration at the EB in January 2024.”
Jon Lidén, Chief Strategist, Communications Agency Blossom, who has worked on matters of replenishment for global health agencies said, “Going towards a replenishment is a big positive step for WHO. GAVI, the Global Fund and others have shown how replenishments are good for both the donors, by making the process simple, and those who need the money, by driving up the pressure to raise the money. Hopefully, it will also greatly simplify the way WHO now allocates money through thousands of small and big grants.. It will be an exciting challenge for the organization to get this right”. Lidén has formerly worked at both WHO and at the Global Fund.
THE INCREASE IN ASSESSED CONTRIBUTIONS – STRINGS PROPOSED BY SOME COUNTRIES
As we reported earlier this week, WHO member states agreed to the WHO’s Programme Budget for 2024-2025, committing to a 20% increase of assessed contributions.
Countries approved the proposed programme of work for the next two years (2024-2025) at US$ 6.83 billion. With the increased assessed contributions, Member States will contribute US$ 1148.3 million towards this budget with their membership fees. The rest, US$ 5 685.8 million will be covered by voluntary contributions made by member states and other contributors, according to WHO.
The U.S. also said during the discussion on the financing, “Consideration of future AC increases will be contingent upon continued progress towards reform, including through completion of additional action items from the Secretariat's plan, as well as implementation of the recommendations of the AMSTG.”
Developed country diplomats told us that BRICS countries must contribute more to WHO. They suggested that many middle-income countries were in effect “free-riding” on the contributions of donor countries. And justified that donors who insist on earmarking funds to WHO, seeking greater accountability and transparency were not wrong in doing so.
Germany’s Bjorn Kummel who led the WGSF discussions said, 70% of WHO finances came from 10 donors.
Some developing countries such as Ghana also called for ring-fencing of additional resources at headquarters and regional offices that may be used to provide high level technical support to Member States.
Here is what is interesting, while there is political commitment to increase what countries pay to WHO, there is also a strong desire among donor countries to have a say on how their voluntary contributions are spent. So, although flexible financing is a panacea for keeping WHO’s financing sustainable and predictable, funds will come with strings attached, as long as only a small group of donors are the only ones stepping up to pay more.
But this, activists say opens the door for deeper financialization of global health.
CIVIL SOCIETY RAISES ALARM
This week civil society organisations raised concerns about the issue of WHO funding and “the pathways being created for private sector investments”. A decision noted by the Assembly provides the mandate to the WHO Secretariat to organise the investment round and establish an investors forum. Nicoletta Dentico of Society for International Development (SID) said, “We of course need to increase public funding, but the devil is hidden in the multilateral development community’s fixation with leveraging the private sector in healthcare using public money to de-risk investments. That is why the creation of an Investors’ Forum at the WHO looks now the new attempt to advance health financialization at the very core of the agency’s governance”.
K M Gopakumar of the Third World Network (TWN) said, “the idea of WHO Investors’ Forum would seriously undermine the role of the vast majority of Member states in WHO’s governance. The Forum participants consisting of a rather impenetrable network of philanthropic foundations and the private sector would de facto control WHO’s priorities. Further, it also legitimises the white washing of money and images of the private sector through WHO Foundation.”
III. UPDATES THIS WEEK
The health of Indigenous Peoples: WHO resolution
UN Climate Conference to Feature First Ever Official ‘Health Day’ Health Policy Watch
Statement by U.S. Ambassador Bathsheba Crocker at the 76th World Health Assembly (Pillar 2 Statement— Public Health Emergencies: Preparedness and Response)
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