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Financing dialogue: money talks

On 24 June this year, WHO held the first-ever WHO financing dialogue.

More than 250 participants from Member States, United Nations agencies and non-State partner organizations, joined the meeting in Geneva – either in person or via webcast. This event offered the opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss the financing of the Programme budget 2014–2015 and represented the first step towards full funding of all WHO activities and deliverables.

The financing dialogue is more than a simple meeting: it is a conversation with Member States and other partners that will continue during the coming months, culminating in a second meeting to be held on 25 and 26 November. The ultimate objective of this process is to ensure that WHO has the means to deliver agreed results, with the work of the Organization benefitting from enhanced quality and effectiveness. The dialogue is expected to assist in securing predictable, transparent financing of at least 70% of the Programme budget 2014–2015 by the beginning of 2014, with funding fully aligned with the budget’s planned outputs.

In addition, this new process strives to broaden the range of donors and contributors to WHO in order to reduce an existing vulnerability. Currently, more than 80% of the Organization’s funding is provided by just 20 donors.

During the June meeting, Member States and partners expressed their support to the Organization and undertook to make sure that available resources are aligned with the US$ 3977 million Programme budget 2014–2015 and that funding becomes more predictable. Several participants announced that they would increase the flexibility of their contributions.

Participants were also introduced to a new WHO web portal that provides detailed information on the financing of the programme budget in order to inform contributors’ funding decisions and meet the Member States’ calls for increased transparency and accountability. The system will provide key stakeholders with up-to-date programmatic, budgetary, financial and monitoring information.

Voices from the Member States and partners

"It is a historic moment for WHO’s Member States and WHO to take a bold step in holding this dialogue to address the challenges confronting the financing of WHO, we applaud the effort to find ways to achieve full financing of the budget." Dr L.E. Makubalo, Health Attaché, Permanent Mission of South Africa, Geneva, Switzerland.

"I believe that the world cannot live without WHO. If it didn’t already exist we would have to invent it today." Dr N. Daulaire, Director, Office of Global Health Affairs, United States of America.

"It is in our collective interest to have the WHO fit and able to address the increasingly complex health challenges of the 21st century." Ms Tan Y.W., Permanent Representative (UN), Permanent Mission of Singapore, Geneva, Switzerland.

"Norway is pleased that we have finally embarked on a collective financing dialogue that will allow all of us to openly discuss together in a pragmatic fashion how priorities in the approved programme budget can be financed." Mr A.P. Sanne, Director, Norwegian Directorate of Health and Social Affairs.

"In fact, the Global Fund would not be able to fulfill its mandate without the strong support of WHO at global, regional and country levels. WHO’s core roles as providing normative guidance, technical support and building capacity at the country level are absolutely essential and complementary to the work of Global Fund." Dr C. Benn, Director, External Relations, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Comment

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