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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Partner in global health

8 November 2019

Delivering impact for health with development aid

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the World Health Organization work together to tackle some of the toughest health problems of our time to make the world a safer and healthier place. By safeguarding the world from disease and promoting well-being we help countries build the basis for long-term economic development.

66顺彩票appBy partnering with WHO, UK aid makes a difference around the world from responding to diseases, like Ebola and malaria, to tackling climate change and improving the rights of women and girls. Support from the UK brings the goal of eradicating polio closer to realisation and helps build strong health systems that are effective at addressing health crises to prevent future outbreaks.

The UK supports key public health goals that make the world a better, safer and more prosperous place both at home and abroad. The UK's was established in 1948, the same year WHO was founded, and is aligned with WHO's core principle of Universal Health Coverage, allowing all people essential health services regardless of their ability to pay.

The UK has advocated for key global health issues by bringing together political leaders, innovators, experts-by-experience, policymakers and civil society during the  and the . In 2019 the UK government launched a new UK aid programme, , to help stop violence against one million of the world’s poorest women and girls.

For decades the UK has continued to be a committed partner in global health for development. WHO thanks the British people for their knowledge, expertise and generosity towards global health.


UK impact in emergencies

The UK is a top WHO donor


66顺彩票appWHO is proud to partner with the UK, the second top donor for the 2018-2019 programme budget donating a total of US$ 404 million (including projections).

 The UK has also given WHO flexible funding, so that WHO can allocate funds when and where they are needed. For the 2018-2019 period the UK generously donated US$ 52.2 million to WHO's Core Voluntary Contribution Account, making the UK the top flexible contributor in 2018/19 and hence a crucial partner in helping WHO finance and implement underfunded priority programs.

The UK is one of the few countries that meets the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on aid.

The top 10 areas receiving UK contributions for the 2018-2019 biennium: 

  • Polio eradication
  • Increase surveillance, early warning, outbreak and crisis response
  • Increase access to essential health and nutrition
  • National health policies, strategies and plans
  • Health and the environment
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Malaria
  • Reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health
  • Access to medicines
  • Antimicrobial resistance



Emergency preparedness, outbreak and crisis response





The United Kingdom enhances global health security by supporting WHO's emergency work. The UK Government is the third top donor to the Contingency Fund for Emergencies66顺彩票app, which enables fast release of funds for emergencies like Ebola.Without the UK's support, the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would be much further from resolution; there would not be over 1000 survivors without their financial, technical and political support. DFID has provided nearly 50 million in support of WHO operations since the beginning of North Kivu outbreak, making the UK the largest donor to WHO’s response. 

As demonstrated in Uganda, preparedness and early action are vital to contain an outbreak. Investing in preparedness saves hundreds of lives and billions of dollars. The UK’s support and advocacy for preparedness in neighbouring countries has done just that.

The UK also provides strong support for the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). Public Health England has seconded senior public health expertise to the GOARN operational support team and supported GOARN simulations and training activities to prepare countries for emergencies.

The UK's contributions continue to support the most severe health emergencies including:

    • Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh - More than 40 British doctors, nurses and firefighters from the UK’s Emergency Medical Team, certified by WHO, deployed to help stop the deadly outbreak of diphtheria. 
    • Syrian crisis - Five tonnes of medical supplies were provided to the crisis in Syria including medicines and medical supplies for 500 trauma cases and 37 000 medical treatments. With the support of DFID around 50,000 children per month are being vaccinated in each governorate. Health care providers in Syria have been trained in mental health and psychosocial support services that helps treat new mothers and survivors of gender-based violence.


    Ebola response

    Mental health in emergencies

    Immunization during crisis




    Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa

    DFID supports WHO's Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa Programme to save lives and reduce the impact of disease outbreaks and epidemics on African populations. The programme strengthens health systems and institutions by supporting: the WHO African region reform, countries' ability to achieve the International Health Regulations and better governance and accountability of public health systems, improved data and evidence, as well as emergency response.

    66顺彩票appWHO programming takes place in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique and Botswana.

    66顺彩票appKey achievements from this initiative include:

    • Enhancing surveillance systems for timely exchange of information through the electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response system (eIDSR) in Liberia and Madagascar.
    • Strengthening 11 country teams' abilities to produce and disseminate accurate health data during a cholera outbreak by training 47 participants on how to collect, analyze and interpret data. 
    • Establishing rapid response systems in 5 countries' Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) by training WHO and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) experts from various backgrounds in effective public health emergency response procedures and operations.
    • Conducting 36 joint external evaluations to inform the enhancement of 13 countries' health security national action plans and national health development plans. 
    • Improving media reporting on public health issues by training 42 journalists from various media outlets in 15 countries on their role in health emergencies; basic epidemiology; finding important data; stopping rumours and other relevant skills.



    Antimicrobial resistance

    Poster 4. Hand Hygiene

    The UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund has contributed more than $17 million to WHO to fight antimicrobial resistance66顺彩票app (AMR). Misusing antibiotics in health or in the food chain can lead to the development of drug-resistant microbes. AMR is occurring everywhere in the world, compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases.

    66顺彩票appWith the support of the Fleming Fund, WHO has made substantial progress:

    • 129 countries (of which 85 are LMICs) have finalized an AMR national action plan, and 51 are in the process of developing one.
    • WHO published the first WHO Report on Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption that includes data from 65 countries, contributing to our understanding of how antibiotics are used in these countries.
    • WHO has trained more than 50 countries on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption.
    • WHO developed a global protocol for integrated surveillance of AMR to generate data on the scale of the problem in human, animal, food and environmental sectors. The protocol is being rolled out in seven countries and an additional nine are expected to roll out the protocol in 2019.  
    • WHO developed the , a new tool that clarifies the preferred antibiotic options for each important infectious disease syndrome, balancing benefits, harms and the potential for resistance.
    • WHO developed a Tripartite AMR Country Self-Assessment Survey in collaboration with Tripartite partners, FAO and OIE, to monitor implementation of national action plans on AMR across sectors. WHO, in collaboration with FAO and OIE, also developed the Tripartite Monitoring & Evaluation framework for the Global Action Plan on AMR, along with a recommended list of indicators, to generate data to assess the delivery of GAP objectives and inform decision-making.




    The UK is a champion for people with disabilities

    Over 900 million people globally do not have access to wheelchairs, eyeglasses, hearing aids, prosthetics and other life-changing assistive products. At the , UKaid, UNICEF, WHO and other partners launched a to enable 500 million people access to assistive technology by 2030.

    As part of the ATscale initiative, the Global Disability Innovation Hub started the AT2030 programme with GBP 20 million from UKaid. AT2030 initiative will catalyse new technologies and service delivery models, generate at least 40 new technologies with potential life-changing impact, spark 80 new start-ups and mobilise the private sector to help at least 15 million people access assistive technologies by 2023. In partnership with UNICEF, the Global Disability Innovation Hub and others, WHO is working towards improving access to affordable essential assistive products, especially in Africa – helping to realise the ambitious goal of reaching 500 million people.  




    Lending UK health expertise to support global health


    66顺彩票appThe , institutions such as research institutes, universities or academies, which are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programmes. 

    Among them are top global institutions that share data and lend their expertise to WHO in areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases and health technologies. 

    66顺彩票appPublic Health England (PHE) is a strong partner, with nine collaborating centres, in the areas of global health security, mass gatherings, antimicrobial resistance research, special pathogens, chemical exposures, radiation protection, and nursing and midwifery. 

    WHO's Health Emergencies team partners with PHE in areas including capacity building, knowledge transfer, quality assurance for outbreak, simulation exercise management, human resources exchange and emergency trainings.





    Polio eradication


    The goal of the is to complete the eradication and containment of all wild, vaccine-related and Sabin polioviruses, such that no child ever again suffers paralytic poliomyelitis. 

    In November 2019 the UK Government confirmed its commitment to eradicating polio for the next four years to help vaccinate more than 400 million children a year. The United Kingdom is the second-largest public-sector contributor with total commitments of US$ 1.6 billion until 2019.    

    The UK’s support helped:

    • eradicate wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) worldwide
    • immunise up to 45 million children against the disease each year until 2020 – that is 80 children a minute
    • save more than 65,000 children from paralysis every year
    • help over 15,000 polio workers reach every last child with life-saving vaccines and other health interventions
    • help save almost £2 billion globally by 2035, as health care systems are freed up from treating polio victims






    Malaria: From high burden to high impact

    In early 2017, malaria was claiming more lives in Nigeria's Borno State than all other diseases combined. Most of the deaths were among children aged under 5 years. The UK contributed US 9.4 million in the 2016-2017 biennium to help control malaria in key countries that share the highest burden of the disease, including Nigeria.

    In collaboration with the Borno State Ministry of Health, WHO launched a special campaign in July 2017 aimed at rapidly reducing the malaria burden among under-5 children in 5 high-transmission areas. The 4-month campaign reached 1.2 million children in the targeted areas with both monthly rounds of antimalarial medicines and the oral polio vaccine.

    66顺彩票appThis integrated campaign - a collaborative effort between the malaria, polio and health emergency teams at WHO headquarters, the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the WHO Nigeria country office - marked the first time that antimalarial medicines had been delivered on a mass scale alongside the polio vaccine in an emergency humanitarian setting.

    WHO's High Burden to High Impact response is consistent with the UK focus on making impact in high burden countries; guided by the strategic use of evidence to achieve value for money and enabled by good development practice.




    Protecting people's health from a changing environment

    Children environmental health infographics


    WHO has supported Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal and United Republic of Tanzania to address climate change, water and health, with funding from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In Ethiopia, evidence of the interlinkages between these areas was developed and policy coherence strengthened. Climate resilient water safety plans were implemented in 31 water supply systems, covering more than 1 million people.

    66顺彩票appThe success of this project has led to a further grant of US$ 10 million for WHO to scale up work in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Nepal to strengthen surveillance systems and develop early warning systems for cholera and other climate-sensitive diseases, as well as to implement climate-resilient water and sanitation safety plans. This work is based on WHO’s climate-resilient water safety plans, which explain how to take into consideration the broader issues of climate change, regional climate vulnerability assessments, disaster risk reduction and integrated water resources management in a way that is aligned with the systematic framework for managing risk presented in the Water safety plan manual.

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