(Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization can’t do its job if member states and donors don’t agree to a proposed funding increase giving the international health body more autonomy to fight pandemics, its chief said.
“If the current funding model continues, the WHO is being set up to fail,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told delegates in Geneva Monday.
The WHO is asking member-states and donors for an additional $480 million for its next two-year budget period, including $430 million for its emergencies program to coordinate the global response to Covid-19. The WHO’s budget for the 2020 to 2021 period was originally $5.8 billion but was significantly increased in response to the pandemic.
Just as health workers need the resources and tools to do their jobs, the “WHO needs the sustainable, predictable and flexible funds to do ours,” Tedros said.
The organization’s chief said the WHO has been compartmentalized and deprioritized both nationally and internationally for too long.
The WHO’s executive board meets this week in Geneva and online but there is little indication of consensus among members on budget reforms the WHO is seeking.
“The paradigm shift in world health that’s needed now must be matched by a paradigm shift in funding,” he said at the annual executive board meeting.
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