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Inaugural WHO Partners Forum launches new push for collaboration on global health

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To meet the world’s most pressing health challenges, the World Health Organisation (WHO), governments and global health leaders on Tuesday called for improved partnerships and resourcing to support WHO’s mission to deliver care, services and protection for billions of people by 2023.

The inaugural two-day WHO Partners Forum opened in Stockholm and will be co-hosted with the Government of Sweden.

The meeting will result in a shared understanding of how to strengthen partnerships and improve effective financing of WHO, with an emphasis on predictability and flexibility.

Global leaders in health and development, representing the public sector, health partnerships and non-State actors, will come together to launch a new era of collaboration and innovation around WHO’s resource needs. Under the Organization’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13), WHO needs US$14.1 billion between now and 2023.

“WHO is committed to leaving no one behind as we strive for the highest attainable standard of health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO is building stronger and more strategic partnerships with governments, international organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to deliver on the health-related targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

At the heart of the GPW13 are the “triple billion” goals of ensuring that by 2023, 1 billion more people are benefitting from universal health coverage, 1 billion more people are better protected from health emergencies, and 1 billion more people are enjoying better health and well-being.

Peter Eriksson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, says: “The first WHO Partners Forum is a historic moment for honest discussions on tackling modern global health threats. If the world is to meet current and future health challenges, we need to ensure WHO is equipped and supported to be able to lead the global response.”

Sweden’s Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren, said great advances have been made in global public health in recent decades, but new threats are putting communities, countries and economies at risk.

“Countries and health partners alike must collaborate even closer to respond to health challenges,” said Ms Hallengren. “Fighting antimicrobial resistance, combating disease outbreaks and providing essential health services for all are keys not only to improving people’s wellbeing, but also to promoting growth and development. Only by coming up with a sustainable model to respond to pressing health threats in all countries will we be able to deliver on the ambition of the SDGs.”

Other participants in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum include leadership of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

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