76th World Health Assembly: Delegates discuss WHO’s work in emergencies

AMTV/Geneva, May 23 – Country delegates considered a number of emergencies-related items today, as Items 14 and parts of item 15 were grouped together. They provided their views on the reports from the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC), on implementation of the International Health Regulations, on WHO’s work in emergencies, as well as in strengthening preparedness for and response to emergencies. Countries also discussed the report on the health situation in Ukraine, and the report of the Global Health for Peace Initiative.

Delegates commended WHO’s work in emergencies throughout the pandemic and beyond, agreeing with the findings of the IOAC that the work was excellent, but that the Emergencies programme was underfunded and overstretched.

Some delegates highlighted the role that the Contingency Fund for Emergencies has played in allowing the organization to respond quickly.

They encouraged global efforts for strengthening preparedness and response to health emergencies, learning the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterated the importance of an aligned global health architecture, placing WHO at the centre. Several spoke of the need to align various initiatives to avoid duplication and strengthen their impact. Some noted the need for continued work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. Delegates spoke in support of the Global Health for Peace initiative, and the strengthening of clinical trials, asking WHO for further guidance and support to build capacities in country in this area, to improve the quality of research and interventions.

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