[Ip-health] Oxfam statement at WHA

Mohga Kamal-Yanni mkamalyanni at Oxfam.org.uk
Thu May 24 07:45:01 PDT 2012

Dear delegates

As you debate the WHO reforms, Oxfam urges you to ensure that the reforms 
lead to a stronger and more effective WHO. 

Severe financial crisis and related heavy staff losses have resulted in 
the WHO struggling to deliver the essential core functions on which 
Members States and their health services depend. Waiting to agree 
financial support for these functions until 2013, when the WHA is due to 
endorse the programme budget, may be too late to prevent irreversible 
damage that could undermine the success of the reforms themselves. Oxfam 
therefore urges you to support mechanisms to protect the WHO core 
functions including through an emergency financial package. 

Ensuring that WHO can deliver on its collectively agreed priorities over 
the longer-term, including providing the global norms, standards, 
guidelines and objective policy advice on which so many countries depend, 
requires Member States to work together on a number of priority areas 

·       Achieving a fundamental shift in the way WHO is financed with a 
significant increase in the proportion of the budget provided as flexible 
funds. The current skewed nature of WHO?s funding makes it very difficult 
for the organisation to deliver its mandate. Flexible funds represent only 
20% of the total budget and are insufficient to cover WHO?s constitutional 
obligations. This is happening at a time when demands on the WHO are 
increasing while Member State contributions to the regular budget are 
falling. The grave mismatch between WHO priorities as set by the WHA and 
the funding available to deliver them must be addressed. 

·       Prioritising WHO?s capacity to support the strengthening of health 
systems in order to ensure progress towards equitable and universal 

·       Ensuring the WHO?s Essential Medicines functions receives 
sufficient funding from WHO?s regular budget.  Given the potential 
conflict of interest in designing medicines policies, standards, norms and 
guidelines, it is crucial that functions related to medicines have secured 
funding from the regular budget.

Oxfam believes that it is the duty of the WHA to ensure that core 
functions are protected during the 2 years transition period, that the 
longer-term reforms build on the WHO?s many successes, and that the 
organisation is enabled to strengthen its leadership role as the champion 
for universal and equitable access to quality health services. 

Thank you

Best wishes 
Mohga - 
Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
Senior health & HIV policy advisor
Oxfam GB
John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2 JY
Tel               +44(0) 1865 472290
UK Mobile   + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
Skype    Mohga Kamal-Yanni

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.

Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
A registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC 039042)

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