WHO and Germany strong partners in tackling Global Health issues

Nov 24, 2016

23.11.2016: WHO and Germany strong partners in tackling global health issues (group photo) Enlarge image 23.11.2016: WHO and Germany strong partners in tackling global health issues (group photo) (© WHO/ C.Black)

24 November 2016 – When German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015, she was crystal clear on her priorities: “We are all working to ensure that the right to health is firmly anchored in the United Nations system as one of the new Sustainable Development Goals.”

During its 2015 Presidency of the G7, Germany put three health-related issues high on the agenda: addressing health emergencies through lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic; combatting poverty-related neglected tropical diseases, and resistance to antibiotics. Under German leadership, the G7 made a commitment to the promotion of global health and, over the coming five years, offered to assist 60 countries to implement the International Health Regulations.

In this spirit of cooperation, representatives from a range of German Government ministries travelled from Berlin and Bonn to the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters on 23 November for the second meeting of its kind between the two parties. Participants discussed global health priorities, such as the response to health emergencies, polio eradication, efforts to address anti-microbial resistance and strengthen health systems.

Germany is one of WHO’s top contributors, providing US $121 million for the Organization’s work throughout 2014-15. Germany contributes to WHO’s work on health emergencies through contributions to both the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies and for country operations, such as the response to the crisis in Ukraine. In 2016, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health collaborated with WHO to address key global health issues including anti-microbial resistance and implementation of International Health Regulations. Germany also strongly contributes to WHO’s polio eradication programme and has been a consistently strong advocate of the overall WHO reform process.

In addition, Germany hosts the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH). Based at the UN campus in Bonn, ECEH compiles evidence on environmental health risks and provides guidance to countries on how to mitigate these risks.

Germany is now shaping the coming G20 agenda, placing a strong focus on global health. The concrete priorities of the German G20 presidency will be announced at the start of December.