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  • Writer's pictureAnastasia Chumak

Global Health Security Network Call for Action

The World Health Organization was established in 1948 to serve as the directing and coordinating authority in international health work. It currently comprises 194 Member States, reflecting the fact that governments all around the world can agree that good health is fundamental to us as individuals and societies.

As a member-based organization, every government contributes a small amount of funding to support the WHO’s activities. These membership dues, or ‘assessed contributions’, have been frozen though since the 1980s and have not risen in real terms.

Assessed contributions provide the WHO with “core” funding, which is used to meet critical operational expenses and fund global health activities. While the majority of the WHO’s revenue was derived from assessed contributions several decades ago, these monies now only make up 17% of the annual WHO funds. The remaining 80% of the WHO’s funding is now received via voluntary contributions which are “tied” funds, allocated by donors for specific activities.

This is unsustainable. Voluntary contributions distort global health priorities and create additional reporting burdens on the WHO and recipient countries. The World Health Organization desperately needs guaranteed core funding to carry on its vital work. Nothing has demonstrated this more than the current COVID-19 pandemic. We need a strong WHO that is sustainably financed.

Today, the Global Health Security Network (GHSN) joins a number of WHO Member States calling for an increase in assessed contributions, to provide the WHO with sustainable financing. We call on all countries to support doubling their current assessed contributions by the end of 2021. Join us in this endeavour by writing to your government representatives, posting on social media, and talking to your friends and colleagues.

Let’s make the world a better, healthier place!

Join us now and support the movement for a more sustainable WHO!

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