By Yunus S Saliu
The Ministry of Health and World Health Organization and relevant stakeholders, Thursday, 18th August 2022 concluded its two days consultation that focused on identifying priorities for the Program Budget 2024-2025.
The PB 24-25 planning process includes a systematic consultation and engagement of Member States in collectively identifying priorities for the next biennium.
Both Ministry of Health and WHO used the opportunity of the consultation to review the outcomes, realigned their 2022-2023 work plan priorities, identified priorities for the 24 – 25 Budget Programs, and developed a plan for the future.
However, the process of identifying priorities or areas of concentration to accelerate the achievement of the GPW 13 targets and the Sustainable Development Goals is composed of 6 phases. The first 3 of which are for the country offices, and the phases are 1: Intra-WCO Analysis; phase 2: Assessment and Prioritization by the Ministry; Phase 3: Decision by the Minister; Phase 4: Afro Consolidation and Budgeting; Phase 5: Pre-Executive Board (EB) Consultation and post EB and Phase 6: Approval by the WHO World Assembly in May 2023
This is with the overall objective to identify areas for focus efforts/(outputs) to accelerate the achievement of the Triple Billion targets and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3).
In his opening remarks, Dr Desta Tiruneh, WR of WHO gave the background of the identifying priorities for the Program Budget 2024-205.
He told the gathering that the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2022 approved the extension of the WHO 12th Global Programme of Work (GPW 3) 2019 – 2023 to 2025 by adopting the draft resolution A75/53 which helps to focus and prioritize actions for greatest and fastest impact.
He noted that the extension is expected to achieve the targets of the 13th GPW, as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused setbacks that have prevented the world from achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
He went on that at the 75th WHA, member states equally approved the recommendations of the Working Group on Sustainable Financing on a gradual increase of Assessed Contributions (AC) to 50% of the base budget from the 2022-2023 biennium to the 2028-2029 biennium, as the Covid-19 pandemic has also demonstrated that the current funding model is unsustainable and limits the Organization’s ability to have an impact.
“As such, the WHA requested the Secretariat to develop a budget proposal with an initial 20% increase in the 2022-23 assessment for consideration by member states as part of the proposed 2024-2025 Program Budget (PB),” he explained.
As part of this negotiation on sustainable financing of WHO, Dr Desta disclosed that one of the requirements of Member States to increase the assessed contributions is the implementation of governance reforms. While he noted that the Africa Region process of identifying areas of concentration for the PB 2024-2025 is planned for completion by 31 August 2022.
Addressing the participants on behalf of the Minister of Health Mohammed Lamin Jaiteh, he highlighted the importance of the PB 24-25 planning process.
He thanked WHO through the Country Rep Dr Desta Tiruneh saying the Ministry of Health and the government of The Gambia appreciate their support. He as well acknowledged the Ministry of Health and its departments noting that without their technical and financial inputs it might be difficult for the sector to register its achievement so far.
Mr Jaiteh, therefore, thanked everyone that made it to the forum.