HelpAge International

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.1 Proposed programme budget 2020–2021
Statement: 

HelpAge International commends WHO on its development of a proposed programme budget and investment case. The GPW13 sets out an ambitious agenda with its triple billion target. It must be adequately resourced if its potential impact is to be achieved.

HelpAge is pleased to see a number of key issues referenced in the proposed budget, including the need to strengthen the capacity of WHO to deliver in countries and the importance of the secretariat taking a lifecourse approach and strengthening primary health care and integrated people-centred delivery of essential services to deliver community-based integrated care that responds to the needs of older people.

We congratulate WHO on its recent work to strengthen its impact framework, including through additions to the UHC index and tracer interventions. We are pleased to see efforts to better include older people.

While these references relating to ageing and older people are very welcome we express our ongoing concern about WHO’s ability to deliver on these commitments and its prioritisation of ageing. Capacity on this issue at country level remains incredibly low and we are extremely concerned about the reduction in capacity on ageing and health at WHO’s head office. Without the allocation of adequate financial resources to support this technical capacity, it is unlikely that WHO country offices or government partners will be able to adequately respond to the health needs of ageing populations.

Funding must also be made available to support the transition of health systems away from vertical disease focused approaches to person-centred care. We urge WHO to allocate financial and human resources to ageing and health systems transitions to ensure older people are included in the triple billion and their right to health is met.