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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Swiss foundation provides new financial support for UN health agency

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just announced the creation of the WHO Foundation. This independent Swiss entity will broaden the range of donors and provide financial support for the actions of the UN agency in charge of health.

At a virtual press conference in Geneva, WHO Director-GeneralDr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus officially announced the creation of the WHO Foundation. It will be headed by Professor Thomas Zeltner, former Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Health Organization and the Foundation, the founder of this new entity made it clear that it will complement the funding of WHO programs, but not replace the contribution of member states.

This new organization will be able to help WHO achieve the objective of its plan for the period 2019-2023. Namely, to enable one billion more people to benefit from universal health coverage, another billion people to be better protected in the face of health emergencies, and finally one billion more men and women to enjoy better health.

"Up to 80% of donations will be injected directly into the WHO secretariat and the rest to partners."

Legally distinct from WHO, this organization will accept contributions from the general public, private donors and WHO corporate partners. Its aim is to help broaden the Organization's donor base and contribute to more sustainable and predictable funding. The processing of philanthropic contributions will be simplified, making it possible to support all aspects of healthcare. The Foundation hopes to fuel WHO's efforts by raising three billion dollars over the next 3 to 4 years. Professor Zeltner indicated that "up to 80% of donations will be injected directly into the WHO secretariat and the remainder to partners."

"Today's announcement is the culmination of more than two years of preparation and hard work that countless individuals and partner organizations have brought to fruition."

Dr. Tedros revealed that the creation of the WHO Foundation was the result of "more than two years of preparation and hard work by countless individuals and partner organizations." The creation of the WHO Foundation marks an important step in the transformation of the Health Organization. According to the Director-General, it will also "facilitate the realization of the organization's mission to promote health, safeguard global security and serve vulnerable populations."

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Foundation will initially focus on emergency situations and pandemic response. It also intends to raise and disburse funds in support of all WHO's global public health priorities, in line with the general program of work adopted by Member States.
The organization, incorporated under Swiss law, will base its guidelines on an advisory group made up of specialists in global health, philanthropy, ethics and finance. The Board will assume all governance responsibilities and review all strategic decisions. It will also be the supreme decision-making body. The founding members of the Council are Rwandan lawyer Clare Akamanzi, American philanthropist Bob Carter and Swiss professor Thomas Zeltner. The WHO Director-General will soon appoint an observer to attend meetings of the Foundation's Board of Directors. An Executive Director will be appointed shortly.

To donate online, go to:www.whofoundationproject.org