WHO brings its member states in Geneva, Ukraine and Covid to the discussion list

Building a more efficient and equitable global health system: The 194 member states of the World Health Organization gather in Geneva on Sunday, May 22, to participate in 75And The World Health Assembly, in a context complicated by conflict, inequality, the climate crisis and epidemics.

The resolution launched by Ukraine should condemn in particular the attacks by Moscow on the health system, but should also condemn the very serious consequences of the invasion and blockade of Ukrainian ports on world supplies and the explosion in grain prices. “The war in Ukraine has a systemic effect on international organizations because it takes a long time to manage the Russian question in the organizations and to recede the consequences for health in Ukraine, Europe and the world.”Explains a European diplomat.

There is also a balance to be struck, as many countries believe that Ukraine’s allies are applying double standards and neglecting other crises. For these countries, health cooperation is a separate area that must be maintained.

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On the Russian side, the embassy in Geneva wanted to retract the information that Moscow was preparing to withdraw from the organization. “The rumors that Russia will withdraw from the WHO are simply not true.”A tweet punctuates a giant exclamation point.

Ensuring sustainable funding for the World Health Organization

The reappointment of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for five years, was obtained, despite the obstacles that characterized his first term, such as his stance which was considered too conciliatory towards China at the onset of Covid-19 and the reaction too slow. The scandal of sexual exploitation of some employees. But without a competitor and with the support of the organization’s heavyweights, the first African Director-General of the World Health Organization will be able to continue his work. “We expect from him with confidence a very strong commitment to the ongoing management of the pandemic and also to the massive project of global health reform.”confirms the European diplomat.

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From Monday, health ministers must follow each other on the podium for this first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic, and they will discuss sustainable financing for the WHO. The organization has a two-year budget of only about $6 billion. By comparison, the aid Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris has just under €8 billion annually.

The problem comes from fixed subscriptions: compulsory member subscriptions which represent only 16% of the total in 2020-2021. The rest – voluntary contributions – are more difficult to plan, energy-consuming to obtain, and often assigned a specific task. The idea is to gradually increase the share of mandatory contributions to 50%, over ten years, to allow the WHO to better play its role, but not without reforming itself in return. “It will be important for the WHO to implement reforms quickly” In order to make decisions about sustainable funding for the application, US Ambassador Bathsheba Neil Crocker warned.

Respond more effectively to health emergencies

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed what is not working in the global health system. Therefore, the Assembly will consider amending the International Health Regulations to enable a more effective and faster response to health emergencies.

In the same vein, the Assembly should decide to establish a permanent emergency committee emanating from the Executive Board of the World Health Organization that can be activated within 24 hours in the event of a health emergency of international concern, i.e. the highest level of the World Health Organization on alert.

At the same time, work was launched on a new international agreement on global health, which should be binding on its proponents, and could supplement the RSI. In December, an intergovernmental negotiating group was formed to work on this. In fact, cases of monkeypox – a disease endemic to parts of Africa – are spreading across North America and Europe, and while most cases are currently mild, the spectrum of a new, widespread crisis worries health authorities.

The world with AFP

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