WHO Proposes Emergency Health Fund for Africa

A nurse takes care of a baby at a hospital in Nigeria. Luis Sambo, the World Health Organization's regional director in Africa proposed the creation of a health fund for African countries to be used in emergency situations. Photo by: Mike Blyth / CC BY NC-SA Mike BlythCC BY NC-SA

The World Health Organization’s regional director in Africa is proposing the creation of a USD100 million health fund that will provide financial assistance to African countries in emergency situations.

Luis Sambo proposed the creation of the fund in a report he presented during the 60th session of WHO’s Africa committee, news agencies report. Sambo explained that the fund, to be dubbed African Public Health Emergency Fund, will be financed through voluntary contributions and appropriations agreed upon by U.N. member states.

“The purpose of the proposed fund is to mobilize, manage and disburse additional resources from countries for strengthening national and regional capacities and systems to identify, verify, notify and respond rapidly and effectively to epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases,” according to a WHO news release. “It will also address the health impact of natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian crises, and other under-funded public health emergencies of national and international concern.”

The fund will be managed by the African Development Bank.

Sambo also proposed the establishment of a revolving fund with a USD20 million limit that will be managed by the WHO regional office for Africa.

In Sambo’s proposal, the organizational structure of the fund will comprise a rotational advisory committee and a technical review group.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.