India submits 9-point plan for WHO reforms

The Indian recommendation is relevant in view of WHO’s regulations which state the emergency committee gives advice on declaration of a PHEIC when there is “inconsistency in the assessment of the event” between the WHO chief and the affected country – something that revelations have pointed to in the case of Covid-19.

The Indian government pointed out that most of the financing for WHO’s programmes comes from extra-budgetary contributions earmarked for specific issues. Since WHO has little flexibility in using these funds, voluntary contributions should be “unearmarked to ensure that the WHO has necessary flexibility for its usage in areas where they are required the most”, it recommended.

WHO’s regular budget should also be increased so that core activities “are financed from it, without putting an overwhelming financial burden on developing countries”, it said.

Noting that member states have little say in selection of WHO’s activities, expenditure and concurrent monitoring, the Indian government called for effective involvement of all countries in budget implementation and spending. “Strong and robust financial accountability frameworks” should be created, a “significant amount of transparency with respect to data reporting and disbursement of funds” should be established, and the efficiency of funding mechanisms such as the WHO Solidarity Response Fund should be strengthened, it said.

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