Skip to main content

Is The World Health Organization (WHO) Leveraging the Pandemic (COVID-19) to Boost Funding?

Photo by Anna Shvets.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) was first established in 1948 but I'm willing to bet the average citizen in most countries had never heard (or were only vaguely aware) of it until the first quarter of 2020 when the global pandemic, COVID-19, began to emerge as a world wide concern.

As you would expect one of the main goals of WHO is to improve the health of world populations, which it does through its Universal Health Coverage target.

Its two other major targets are:

  • Better protected people from health emergencies.
  • People enjoying better health and well-being.

Each of these three targets aspire to benefiting at least one billion MORE people over a five year period, at which time the strategy is evaluated, reviewed, revised, and reimplemented for the next five years, and so on (I presume). Note that 'more' is important because the overall target is to deliver better health to ALL and not just the same one billion people.

The organisation is funded through member state Assessed Contributions (a percentage of a country’s Gross Domestic Product), basically a membership fee. These fees account for less than 20% of the organisation's total funding.

The rest of their funding comes from Voluntary Contributions, mostly from member states (in addition to their Assessed Contribution), and other partners. There are three levels of voluntary contributions:

  • Core voluntary contributions (CVC) (3.9%)- fully flexible funding with no conditions attached.
  • Thematic and strategic engagement funds (6%) - partially flexible funding that, generally, has stricter guidelines around reporting and accountability to meet contributor's requirements.
  • Specified voluntary contributions (90.1%) - these funds are earmarked to specific programmatic areas and/or geographical locations and must be spent within a specified timeframe.

It's in the area of Voluntary Contributions things get a bit murky (not helped by WHO's website collapsing a part of their VC funding section so you may miss the conditional funding headings) leaving WHO open to conspiracy theorists about who is pulling their strings.

However, if you go to their Budget Portal you can pretty much see all their contributors and percentage contributions (there's actually a very interactive chart that lets you search for contributors by name... go on... I know you're itching to search 'Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation' right now aren't you!).

You may wonder what all this preamble is leading to?

I've noticed that, as countries are starting to relax restrictions on COVID-19, such as mask wearing and QR code tracking. WHO, and particularly WHO's advisory group SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization), have been particularly vocal on not easing restrictions too soon, as well as reinforcing the risk of further COVID-19 variants.

While it may be WHO just being over cautious, I'm not the only random person on the internet that's noticed the pandemic has been a huge profile boost for the organization, and is providing some leverage in terms of turning their funding back around to 1980's levels, where 80% of their funding was through Assessed Contributions. As noted in this article, COVID-19 has shown sustainable financing of WHO is needed to deliver health for all.

As far as I'm aware WHO isn't trying to turn the percentages around by reducing Voluntary Contributions (which would be ridiculous policy). Rather they're trying to justify bumping up Assessed Contribution fees by a considerable amount (from 20% to 50% currently, as proposed by member states). That would be a major funding increase (though inevitably it may still reduce Voluntary Contributions).

If WHO once again moves out of the public spotlight too soon, maybe their funding goals won't be as easy to achieve?

I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any means but I do understand that no organization is above questionable, strategic tactics (just look at how Donald Trump tried to pull all US funding from WHO during his Presidency). 

WHO wants countries to 'get back to normal' but maybe not too quickly? Memories can be short when it comes to global funding, especially funding that the contributor has no control of once handed over.

So far we haven't really heard about another major global variant of COVID-19 after Omicron, and in many countries the curve of new daily cases is on a downward trend. That's not to say we're out of the pandemic but maybe more countries are just better equipped to manage it two years on (you would hope so, right?).

If WHO really wants to make a case for increased funding and global collaboration on health, rather than scaring us with a possible 'next wave' of some COVID-19 variant, maybe they should focus more on how their recommendations, and advice, have succeeded. Showcase more of their achievements in overcoming the pandemic rather than issuing warnings and speculation of possible catastrophes that could be around the corner.

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Man Eating Koalas Right Where I Live!

Not the actual Koala. When I take our dogs for a walk it's not enough that I have to watch out for snakes, lizards, prickles and other over enthusiastic dogs but now I also have to watch out for man eating koalas too! Well alright more like woman biting koalas but this happened right in the suburb where I live, and possibly where I walk my own dogs. Who would ever suspect a largely vegan koala would go rogue for a pound of leg flesh!

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Some Firsts I Could Have Done Without - What a Way to Finish Christmas!

I'm fine now, but earlier... Like most people, our extended family of relatives is fairly spread out across various locations, so getting everyone together at Christmas is often a small miracle. This year, the Adelaide clan, consisting of two vehicles, ours, with myself, my partner (Enigma), three grand kids, and our dog, Oscar, did a two and a half(ish) hour drive north, from Gawler to Port Pirie, South Australia, three days after Christmas, for a family gathering in a Church Hall hosted by Enigma's mother.  The rest of the family made a similarly long trip south from the very Aussie named town of Bruce. All this is just to set the scene for this guy... me. All I was hoping for, aside from a great Christmas family get together, was to make it through to the end of this day without getting sick. By that I mean, Enigma and I had just come off a two to three week, hellish run of coughing and sinus issues, and were well on the mend in the week up to Christmas. I just didn't wa

Movie Review: Avatar 2 - The Way of Water (2022) *Spoiler Free*

To be honest I didn't think, after so many years, a second Avatar movie would have anywhere near the success of the first film. However, at the time of writing this review, Avatar 2 - The Way of Water had already made a billion dollars at the box office in just 12 days. As much as the first film has become a little bit of a joke - mostly just for how long it has taken to get a sequel - people did enjoy that movie and Avatar 2, I feel, is a better experience. It's easily of the same quality visually but also, there's more story and characters to invest in. Not to mention the additional world building. Avatar 2 picks up several years after the first movie. Jake Sully now has a young family on Pandora who he is forced to protect when a familiar threat returns to the extrasolar moon. While the broad themes and plot are not that different from the first movie, within that there are interesting sub stories of family, fathers, being different, and revenge. All of which is balance

Course Review: Passive Income for Graphic Designers - Sell Your Designs, Graphics, Fonts & More

Passive Income is that somewhat elusive idea of earning a living even while you're sleeping. Often considered a 'scam' term used by charismatic marketers to sell you a dream of instant riches asterixed with, in very tiny print "results may vary". Passive Income Course for Graphic Designers is a Udemy course by Skybox Creative (a.k.a. designer, Angelina Samadhi) that guides you through the actual work you need to do (a point that is often glossed over by those charismatic marketers) to create a passive income business selling digital art and design products online. Note that I am an Udemy Affiliate and links within this article to the course are affiliate links. You don't have to use them but it does help keep this site free. Having said that, Passive Income for Graphic Designers is a course I have completed in full, not simply to write a review, but to actually learn from Angelina's experience... because I'm definitely not earning a living from affil

Movie Review: A Man Called Otto (2023) *No Spoilers*

In the tradition of grumpy old man learns a bit of compassion or gains a new lease on life films comes A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks in the titular role. Based on an internationally best selling book, after the death of his wife, Otto lives alone on a housing estate complex where he's somewhat taken on the role of unofficial rule enforcer and resident grumpy old man. A few of the longer term residents seem to tolerate his grouchiness having known both him and his wife in better times. Now he's living his life with one foot in the grave until the arrival of his new neighbors, a young family, that draw him into their world. Otto is the kind of grumpy most people can relate to. His beef is with life, fools, people who don't follow the rules, and anyone that drives the wrong brand of car (which is about as political as this film gets). Unsurprisingly Tom Hanks is very good at playing 'grumpy' even if I wouldn't class his Otto as 'the grumpiest man in Americ