Dr Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusDirector-General's foreword
When I penned the Foreword to last year’s WHO Results Report, 4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, and some 300 000 people had lost their lives. A year later, the number of cases has ballooned more than 40-fold, to almost
160 million, and the number of deaths has increased 11 times, to more than 3.3 million.
A year ago, vaccines were still a distant hope; now they are giving us real hope of bringing the pandemic under control. Even so, the shocking
disparity in the global distribution of vaccines is another painful reminder of the inequities that blight our world and lie at the root of so many of its problems.
The past year has been the most testing in our Organization’s
history. However, it has also demonstrated why, more than ever, the world needs a strong and sustainable WHO. Our transformation is continuing to take root and bear fruit: many of the changes we have made have been tested by fire during the
past year, and have shown their worth. Already many lessons have been learned, more changes have been made, and new initiatives have been launched to strengthen the world’s pandemic preparedness and response capacities.
report showcases the incredible breadth and depth of WHO’s work over the past year, in responding to the pandemic, supporting countries to minimize disruption to essential health services, and in continuing our normative work at all
three levels of the Organization.
Reflecting our commitment to transparency, accountability and delivering an impact, the report presents WHO’s achievements in the past year against the Output scorecard, a unique reporting
mechanism in the United Nations system that provides a detailed accounting of our achievements against each of the “triple billion” indicators agreed by Member States.
Even before the pandemic, the world was lagging behind in its efforts to achieve the “triple billion” targets and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. There is no doubt that the pandemic has blown us even
further off course. At the same time, it has reminded us why the targets are so important, and why we must pursue them with even more determination and innovation.
A crisis often helps us to see with greater clarity what really
matters. COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love, deprived millions of their livelihood, plunged the world into economic turmoil, torn at the social fabric and fanned the flames of inequity. But it has also reminded us that life is fragile,
and that health is not a luxury item for the rich. Rather, it is the most precious commodity on earth, and the foundation of the healthier, safer, fairer and more sustainable future we all want.
2020, a year like no other. A special look into the indispensable role of WHO in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health emergency preparedness after COVID-19: building for the futureIn 2020, we saw that the world was not adequately prepared for a pandemic. COVID-19 is providing pointers for better preparedness.
The aim of the GPW triple billion targets is to improve the health of millions of people around the world by 2023. They will provide a near-term snapshot of the world’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. Current progress in reaching each of the three billion targets is summarized below. (The projections do not yet include the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
ACHIEVING 1 BILLION MORE PEOPLE BENEFITING FROM UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE
An additional 290 million people are projected to have access to high-quality health-care services without incurring financial hardship by 2023, which will nevertheless leave a significant expected shortfall of 710 million. With accelerated progress, it may be possible to close the shortfall by about 30%. Progress is expected to be greatest in low-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens progress, however, because of severe service disruptions and increasing financial hardship. Redoubled emphasis on primary health care, which also supports the other two billion targets, will be key for recovery from COVID-19.
ACHIEVING 1 BILLION MORE PEOPLE BETTER PROTECTED FROM HEALTH EMERGENCIES
About 920 million people are projected to be better protected from health emergencies in 2023 because of improvements in emergency preparedness, vaccination and more timely responses. COVID-19 has shown that the world was unprepared for such a pandemic; additional considerations for readiness capacity and effective response are needed. The current roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is an opportunity to accelerate routine and emergency vaccination, with equity as a focus.
ACHIEVING 1 BILLION MORE PEOPLE LIVING WITH BETTER HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Around 900 million people could be enjoying better health and well-being by 2023. Progress is uneven, with limited progress in low-income countries and over a third of countries showing negative overall trend. Focus should be directed to the indicators that lag most behind the SDG targets, including water and sanitation, air quality and tobacco use. Tackling the world-wide trend of increasing obesity will also be important.
A MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT WHO PROVIDING BETTER SUPPORT TO COUNTRIES
COVID-19 pandemic has demanded strong global health leadership. At every twist and turn of the evolution of the pandemic, there was a demand for a strong WHO – for a lead health authority that was evidence-based, data-driven, results-focused and impact-driven.
The pandemic placed many demands on WHO, severely testing the Organization. Yet WHO has responded to the pandemic at a scale and pace never seen before, helping to ensure essential supplies, coordinate the response and prepare for the delivery of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for even the most vulnerable communities. COVID-19 has demonstrated the benefits of WHO’s transformation into an agile organization able to rapidly leverage global technical expertise and operate on a global scale.
With every major health crisis, WHO has transformed. The Organization will continue to evolve alongside shifting disease patterns and innovations in science. But WHO will continue to remain grounded in its core values of solidarity and equity to build its vision of a healthier, safer, fairer world in the 21st century.
WHO’s biennial Programme budget is based on the principles of transparency, accountability and providing value for money
The World Health Assembly approved a total budget of US$ 5.84 billion for the 2020–2021 biennium.
The Programme budget for this biennium was presented in four distinct segments: the Base programmes, Polio eradication, Special programmes and Emergency operations and appeals.
As of 31 December 2020, budget utilization in all major offices is in line with that of previous biennia, and by the end of 2020 it had reached 60%.
The Programme budget is fully funded at the segment level, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the world’s economy .
Approved Programme budget
The budget segment for Base programmes represents WHO’s core mandate and constitutes the largest part of the Programme budget in terms of strategic priority setting, detailing of deliverables and budget figures. The overall Base programme segment of US$ 3.8 billion is 106% funded and has a utilization of 39%. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretariat is committed to deliver on the promises of the Base programmes in the Programme budget and will continue striving for a high level of utilization.