Members of the World Health Organization formally decided to overhaul the organization’s finance mechanism, which has been characterized as “fundamentally rotten” because to its dependence on the whims of donors.
The strategy, which has already been agreed to last month by the members on a preliminary basis, is seen as being viewed as one of the most critical likely results of the United Nations’ World Health Organization’s ongoing annual World Health Assembly in Geneva this week, where the body is seeking a central role in global health policy.
As a result of the agreement, mandatory fees might reach up to 50% of the WHO budget by 2030-2031, assuming the organisation implements members’ reform recommendations. The largest country funders to the Geneva-based organisation are the United States and Germany.
At a press conference on Wednesday, US envoy to the assembly Loyce Pace said the decision was encouraging.
“It’s our collective expectation that this is twinned with other improvements that happen operationally, administratively at the institution as well,” she added.
Fees collected from the WHO’s 194 members used to make up the majority of the organization’s budget. According to WHO data, that percentage has dropped to barely 16 per cent in recent years.
As a result, it has become overly reliant on thousands of individual donations designated for specific programmes, limiting the organization’s capacity to deploy funds as it sees fit.
A move like this, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, would “totally change this organisation.”
Bjorn Kummel of Germany, who chaired the working group that reached an agreement, earlier criticised the present finance mechanism as “fundamentally corrupt.”
“No organisation can succeed if can’t control its own budget and can’t set its own agenda,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., who closely follows the WHO. “The WHO has been bowing to thousands of masters.”
Previous attempts to alter the funding paradigm took years and only resulted in a 3% increase in 2017.
(Adapted from Latestly.com)