Voluntary Core Contribution to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is the leading and coordinating agency on health-related issues within the United Nations system. Switzerland supports its mandate to ensure the highest attainable level of health and well-being for all (SDG3). WHO’s normative function is its key strategic comparative advantage in global health governance. Its rights-based approach to health is also critical for advancing health equity. Switzerland’s programs are leveraged by the policy dialogue jointly carried out with WHO.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget

Stärkung der Gesundheitssysteme
Reproduktive Gesundheit & Rechte
Primäre Gesundheitsversorgung
Sexuell übertragbare Krankheiten inkl. HIV/AIDS
01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022
CHF  17’200’000

Tasks of the MO and its role in the aid architecture

The WHO provides leadership on global health and health security, including in case of epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19. It shapes, defines and prioritizes the health research agenda according to public health needs, sets evidence-based norms and standards, presents policy options, provides technical assistance to countries, not least in emergencies, and monitors and assesses health trends. WHO hosts two joint UN research and training programmes, also supported by Switzerland, one on neglected tropical diseases (TDR) and one sexual and reproductive health and rights (HRP). These programmes reinforce WHO in its normative function and complement SDC’s interventions on neglected tropical diseases and sexual and reproductive health and rights.


Coherence MO – strategic priorities SDC/Switzerland

The strengthening of WHO as the global health authority is an objective of the Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024. Health is a thematic priority for SDC, as stated in the Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy for 2021–2024, which also identifies WHO among SDC’s priority multilateral organizations. The SDC’s Global Programme Health seeks to improve the health status of vulnerable people in low and middle-income countries by addressing priority global health risks and challenges, priorities that are included in the overall goal of WHO. The Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) engages in a complementary way with the WHO, by leading the institutional dialogue and the participation of Switzerland in WHO’s governance bodies. 

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

Management level 1 (MO): Synthesis of the outcomes of the planned partnership phase

In the WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work, SDC will pay particular attention to results to be achieved in the following areas :

1.     One billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage, with a focus on improved access to quality essential health services and to essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for primary health care (Universal health Coverage).

2.     One billion more people better protected from health emergencies through countries’ improved preparedness and response for health emergencies, epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19 (health security and humanitarian crisis).

3.     One billion more people enjoying better health and well-being by addressing determinants of health and reducing risk factors through multisectoral action.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis and based on these three pillars, SDC will also support policy and action to link these three pillars as to foster synergies between Universal Health Coverage and health security agendas. 

Management level 2 (SDC/Switzerland): Synthesis of the outcomes of the planned partnership phase with focus on outcomes and outputs covered by the Credit Proposal

Switzerland will continue to engage with WHO in order to advance specific outcomes as follows:

1)   Strengthened leadership, governance and advocacy for health in low and middle-income countries.

2)   Promotion of social innovation and building of national and regional research capacities in countries affected by tropical and poverty-related diseases at the interface between research and health care delivery, with a particular focus on harnessing the power of research to address the determinants of health.

3) Sustainable change in national and international policy and public health programmes in relation to sexual and reproductive health and rights.


Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

Management level 1 (MO): Key results from the previous partnership phase

After the Ebola 2014-2016 epidemic and building on related experience and lessons learnt, WHO reformed and strengthened its emergency programmes. WHO works to detect, assess, communicate, prevent and prepare for public health emergencies. WHO responded to 55 emergencies in more than 44 countries and territories in 2019.

A historic agreement was reached between WHO and the International Food and Beverage Association, which has committed to eliminate industrially produced trans-fats from the global food supply by 2023. Fifty-four countries have established legislations to eliminate industrial trans-fats from the food supply following WHO’s package. With the support of WHO, 60 countries now have a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

TDR has been leading the work on evidence-based health product Research & Development (R&D) priority setting. It launched a new online resource in 2018 – the Health Product Profile Directory – to define R&D priorities through standardized descriptions of target health products. This work was taken over by WHO to undertake further normative work in this area.

The recent external evaluation of HRP has confirmed the relevance and quality of its work. In 2018-19, HRP has issued 24 new or updated guidelines, published 343 scientific articles and 80 systematic reviews.

Management level 2 (SDC/Switzerland): Key results from the previous partnership phase

The SDG 3 Global Action Plan was launched in September 2019. SDC provided feedback on two of the seven accelerators of the Plan that correspond to key SDC's priorities: sustainable Financing for Health and Research & Development, lnnovation & Access.

Switzerland actively contributed to the WHO Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) agenda through contributions in various working groups and by feeding NCDs related policies with evidence from bilateral programmes.

Finally, Switzerland significantly advocated and contributed to set up and strengthen new WHO divisions, departments and special programs addressing mental health and social determinants of health.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Organisation der Vereinten Nationen (UNO)
  • World Health Organization

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren

Switzerland participates at the WHO Executive Board and the Programme Budget meetings as a non-member. At the World Health Assembly, each Member State has a seat. In the HRP Board, Switzerland/SDC has its own seat. In the TDR Board, Switzerland/SDC is part of a constituency with Norway.

Other partners: Swiss NGOs (e.g. Medicus Mundi Schweiz), International organizations (e.g. UNAIDS, The Global Fund, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The World Bank, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    17’200’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    17’200’000
Projektphasen Phase 14 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022   (Laufende Phase) Phase 13 01.01.2017 - 30.11.2021   (Completed) Phase 11 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)