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Hundreds of millions of dollars more to WHO from the member states' budgets

Published: 09.06.2022

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· Work is underway to strengthen the role of the World Health Organization.

· The 75th Health Assembly in Geneva was devoted to this issue.

· During the event, topics were discussed, including The "anti-pandemic treaty" and the amendments to the International Health Regulations.

· The Assembly rejected the US demand to increase the freedom of the World Health Organization to issue a health alert.

On the other hand, a proposal to increase the contributions of WHO member states was adopted and work on modifications to the International Health Regulations was declared.

The changes to the International Health Regulations proposed by the United States in April have been almost completely withdrawn. They included, inter alia, a proposal to establish a Compliance Committee to monitor and advise on health compliance. They also allowed much greater discretion to the World Health Organization to issue a health alert. Instead, an amendment was adopted that shortened the entry into force of any future amendments from 24 to 12 months.

However, this does not mean that the subject of the amendment is closed. Delegates adopted the report of the working group on strengthening the preparedness and response capacity of WHO to crisis health situations, in which the intention was expressed to modify the International Health Regulations (IHR) with the prospect of being accepted at the 77th World Health Assembly, i.e. in 2024. On behalf of a group of 47 African countries, the representative of Botswana expressed, inter alia, the need for limited changes and stated that the process should be conducted with full respect for the sovereignty of the Member States.

In turn, Brazil is reportedly likely to leave the Organization if the situation unfolds. Already in 2020, President Jair Bolsonaro publicly expressed the possibility of withdrawing from the WHO, describing it as a "unilaterally engaged political organization" and accusing it of its ideological inclination (as evidenced by the openly pro-abortion attitude of the WHO). It would therefore be a continuation of the course adopted earlier.

Instead, Member States have agreed to set the target of gradually increasing their contributions to 50% of the WHO's basic budget by the 2030-2031 budget cycle at the latest. This would mean that between 2028 and 2029 WHO would see an increase of approximately $ 600 million per year in part of its income. For comparison, in the last two-year budget period (2020-2021) contributions accounted for 16% of the budget, and the remaining 80% of budget funds came from voluntary contributions. Among the main donors, apart from the Federal Republic of Germany, responsible for a total of 17% of the entire budget of the WHO, the United States and the European Commission (7% each), private entities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (9%) and Gavi , the Vaccine Alliance (6%).

A meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to discuss the work on the working draft of the treaty has been announced for the coming summer months. Later this year, a meeting of a working group on changes to the International Health Regulations is planned.

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