On 11 March 2022, the French government and the WHO called for their annual strategic dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. Jerome Bonfonte, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Prof. Jerome Salomon, Director General of Health, Ministry of Solidarity and Health and Dr. Tedros Adhanam Ghebreiss, Director General of WHO, Dr. Hans Kluck. Dr. Matsidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa. Discussions focused on how to strengthen world architecture, including accelerating equitable access to health technologies in the COVID-19 response through ACT-A; Health emergency preparedness and response; “One-health approach”; WHO Academy; Universal health coverage; Non-communicable diseases; And mental health. The two partners also discussed concrete steps to enhance cooperation in the development of a new French global health strategy.
His Excellency Mrs. Stephanie Sidoux, French Ambassador to Global Health and Dr. Tedros both agreed that there was a special resonance of strategic dialogue this year due to the growing concern in Ukraine. “As we face a growing volatile world, the strategic partnership between France and the WHO is even more important,” said Dr. Tedros. “I thank the Government of France for its long-standing commitment to safe, equitable and accessible healthcare for the most vulnerable.”
France is a key player in world health and has a long and productive partnership with the World Health Organization. France’s contribution to the WHO has doubled from US $ 73 million in 2018-2019 to US $ 141 million in 2020-2021, to support the WHO’s core leadership role since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. Moreover, in the last biennial, France has become one of the top five contributors to thematic funding and remains one of the donors who continue to support the original voluntary contribution account, providing valuable flexible funding to the organization. In addition, France has now joined the Contingency Fund for Emergencies, which enables the World Health Organization to respond quickly to health emergencies anywhere in the world and to provide and distribute funds.
In February 2022, France signed a new € 50 million contribution agreement with WHO to support ACT-Accelerator Health Systems and Response Connector to strengthen the healthcare system in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Through our strategic partnership, we are working together to bring together effective, unified and inclusive world health governance,” said His Excellency Mr. Bonfonte. “We are delighted to be attending this year’s bilateral meeting, which was personally very fruitful in Geneva,” added Mrs. Seddox. “In a context of intense concern and as we continue to address the unprecedented epidemic crisis, we have covered many specific areas of dialogue and cooperation.”
Read more about France’s strategic assistance to the World Health Organization