7 December 2021 – WHO held a virtual dialogue today with donors currently providing flexible voluntary contributions to WHO. The objective of the exchange was to provide donors with information on how their flexible contributions to WHO are being used, to exchange views and seek ideas around reporting and donor visibility for these contributions, among other issues.
Flexible funds are a lifeline to the work of WHO. These are the catalytic funds that enable all aspects of WHO’s work, and therefore its impact in countries and on people everywhere. In addition, WHO can use these funds quickly and with agility to respond to key priorities and global health needs as they arise.
Many Member States and other organizations provide voluntary flexible funds. These come in the form of contributions to the Core Voluntary Contributions Account (CVCA), which are fully flexible funds, and as Thematic Voluntary Funds, (earmarked at a high level of the WHO’s Programme Budget).
Data presented at the meeting showed a positive trend in core voluntary contributions (CVC); in 2021, CVC hit a record US$ 209 million, a 291% increase over the previous year. Data also showed an exponential increase in thematic contributions, which rose from US$ 14 million in 2017 to US$ 247 million this year.
“Thanks to all contributors for their real support, and for the trust they show in WHO by providing us with much-needed flexible funding through CVC and thematic contributions,” said Leen Meulenbergs, WHO Director for Strategic Engagement. “We’re dedicated to listening to your concerns, to helping you continue to provide flexible funding, and to exploring how you can help us persuade other donors to follow this path.”
The meeting featured a presentation about the positive impact of flexible funding on WHO’s results. Flexible contributions have enabled progress towards better access to high-quality essential health services; stronger country capacity in data and innovation; faster detection and response for health emergencies; and better access to essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for primary care, among many other achievements.
The flexible nature of the Contingency Fund for Emergencies was also mentioned as a game-changer and remains an important enabling pillar of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. Donors contribute to the CFE because they know that rapid, flexible funding in response to health emergencies saves lives and reduces costs.
WHO is extremely grateful for the support of the following contributors, who have provided CVCA and/or Thematic Voluntary Funding to WHO for the 2020-2021 biennium: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.