Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

The most credible news source in Barbados

May 23, 2023

CMC – Latin America and the Caribbean countries (LAC) are expected to benefit from the decision taken by member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) to approve the UN agency’s 2024-5 programme budget, which includes a 20 per cent increase in assessed contributions.

As a result of the new budget approved at the ongoing 76th World Health Assembly, the WHO global budget has increased to US$6,834.2 million, of which the Region of the Americas will receive US$313.7 million, a 1.2 per cent increase from 2022-2023.

“The Americas remains the most unequal region of the world, yet WHO covers a relatively small portion of PAHO’s operational costs,” said Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director.

“It is crucial that we ensure more equitable distribution of WHO funds so that we can continue to meet the urgent health needs of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he added.

During the budgetary discussions, PAHO member countries thanked WHO for the consultation and prioritization with countries throughout the budget development process but underscored the need for increased financing for the Americas. Countries urged that this is particularly important given that, historically, less than three-quarters of the approved budget for the Americas has been funded.

“Sufficient and sustainable financing for the region is key to addressing the health inequities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Barbosa added.

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that this is the first time in the Organization’s 75-year history that such a significant increase in assessed contributions has been approved.

The budgetary increase for the financial period 2024-2025 will also enable WHO to support countries of the Americas in accelerating towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Organization’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13) “triple billion” targets.

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