Founded on: 7 April 1948.
Head Quarter: Geneva, Switzerland
Director-General: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Member Country: 194
WHO began when our Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day. We are now more than 7000 people from more than 150 countries working in 150 country offices, in 6 regional offices and at our headquarters in Geneva.
It's goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people. It strive to combat diseases – infectious diseases like influenza and HIV and noncommunicable ones like cancer and heart disease. WHO help mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. It ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.
WHO's primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system. These are our main areas of work:
WHO support countries as they coordinate the efforts of multiple sectors of the government and partners – including bi- and multilateral, funds and foundations, civil society organizations and private sector to attain their health objectives and support their national health policies and strategies.
The Programme budget is a critical tool for Member States to set and approve the priorities of the Organization, define the targets to be delivered, and to monitor their achievement. It sets out the resource levels required to deliver this work, and provides the tool for the Member States to control these, so as to balance the Organization’s work across the different areas for which it is accountable. The biennial Programme budgets themselves are derived from the General Programme of Work approved by the Member States, which sets out the strategic direction of WHO. At present, WHO is operating within the scope of the 13th General Programme of Work (2019-2023).
WHO is undertaking extensive reform to ensure that the Organization is well-equipped to meet the increasingly complex health challenges of the 21st century. As part of these efforts, it is working to improve the alignment, flexibility, predictability and transparency of the Organization's financing, and to reduce its vulnerability. The ultimate aim is a fully funded Programme Budget.
A key element of WHO reform, the Financing Dialogue with Member States and key non-state contributors is designed to ensure that WHO is well-equipped to address the increasingly complex challenges of the health of populations in the 21st century.
WHO’s Programme Budget is financed through a mix of assessed and voluntary contributions. Voluntary contributions can come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners. In recent years, voluntary contributions have accounted for more than three quarters of the Organization’s financing.
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