The Health Emergencies Alliance
The Health Emergencies Alliance will maximize the impact of the private sector by harnessing its ability to respond to global health emergencies quickly and effectively at scale and address the multidimensional needs of vulnerable people in these settings by acting as a pooled fund.
The WHO Foundation will convene 50 like-minded corporate partners over five years who share a long-term commitment to supporting the WHO Global Health Emergency Appeals. Over this period, the Health Emergencies Alliance partners will commit to yearly minimum financial contributions to sustainably financing the alliance while, providing reliable and predictable funding for health emergencies and health systems preparedness around the world. In addition, they will be called upon as first responders to specific emergency appeals that arise such as Ukraine Appeal and the Greater Horn of Africa and the Sahel Appeals.
The Health Emergencies Alliance is a novel membership community designed to lead the way to a healthier and more equitable future. By committing US$ 200,000 per year over a three-year period, partners can support WHO’s critical work in responding to health emergencies around the world.
The WHO Foundation will convene 50 like-minded corporate partners over the next five years who share a long-term commitment to supporting the WHO Global Health Emergency Appeals. Over this period, Health Emergencies Alliance partners will commit to yearly minimum financial contributions, providing reliable and predictable funding for health emergencies around the world. They will be called upon as first responders to specific emergency appeals that arise such as the war in Ukraine and the droughts in the Greater Horn of Africa and the Sahel.
This alliance of businesses will help to incubate innovative ideas and commitments for improving the engagement of the private sector in their support to health emergency responses. Partners will be on the front lines of providing the necessary funding base for WHO to respond swiftly and effectively to disaster events around the world. The long-term commitment from partners towards emergency response provides flexible funding where it is needed most, and which is critical to ensuring an effective response. The WHO Foundation will provide necessary resources and support to allow partners to engage to maximize efficiency and impact.
Since the creation of the WHO Foundation, businesses have had an unprecedented opportunity to support the life-saving work of WHO in emergencies. The Health Emergencies Alliance provides a unique platform for businesses to engage with each other to leverage resources and scale up the commitment to support a long-term global and sustainable response mechanism.
The priorities of the Health Emergencies Alliance are aligned to those set out in the annual Global Health Emergency Appeals which will be published annually and outline the key activities of the WHO’s emergency responses around the world. These activities and priorities will determine the focus areas for the corporate partners who will contribute based on the needs and their core competencies to be able to rapidly mobilize resources around the world.
The WHO Foundation aims to include 50 companies in the Health Emergencies Alliance. In the initial startup phase, we will aim to bring on 3-5 founding members who would be part of a founding team or steering committee, and then grow the program over 2023-27. The Health Emergencies Alliance will be introduced by the WHO Foundation to prospective corporate partners at the Clinton Global Initiative alongside the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022. This will be the first key milestone of the alliance, building on the existing success of the WHO Foundation’s fundraising efforts for global health emergencies beginning in 2021. Throughout Q4 2022, the WHO Foundation will be working to secure 3-5 corporate partners to become founding members of the Health Emergencies Alliance. These first partners will help shape the value proposition of the program, encouraging new members to join while supporting active emergency appeals including Ukraine and the Greater Horn of Africa and Sahel appeals. The Health Emergencies Alliance will facilitate regular meetings between the members tailored activations at key global events and an annual retreat.
COVID-19 exposed many health system vulnerabilities, especially those in countries and regions already dealing with humanitarian crises, which are threatening many communities’ ability to cope. The world is witnessing a significant increase in the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance – up from 235 million in 2021 to 274 million in 2022 (WHO GHEA 2022) .
In health emergencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) often serves as both a first responder and a provider of last resort for the world’s most vulnerable people. WHO’s unique global reach, technical expertise, and broad range of partnerships allows it to respond rapidly and at scale, moving people, resources, and supplies to where they are needed the most during health emergencies. WHO, along with other health partners, ensures prevention, preparedness, readiness, response, and recovery in emergency situations.
“One billion people better protected from health emergencies” is one of the Triple Billion objectives of the WHO’s Thirteenth General Program of Work (GPW 13) . To reach this goal, the Global Health Emergency Appeal seeks to raise $2.7 billion, aiming to provide humanitarian assistance to 160 million people across 56 countries in 2022 alone.
The need to fund health emergency responses is now greater than ever. The WHO Foundation combines the power of the private sector with the reach of WHO to drive innovation, impact, and a greater return on health investments. In September 2022, together with its partners, the WHO Foundation is launching the Health Emergencies Alliance to continue supporting WHO’s critical work in responding to and preparing against health emergencies.
During this structuring phase, the WHO Foundation focused on building a solid strategic framework for the HEA to thrive and engage meaningfully within WHO’s health emergency response ecosystem. To build such framework, the WHO Foundation acting as the HEA Secretariat ran consultations with founding partners (four to date) and hosted a working session in Davos at the sides of the World Economic Forum, to solidify the HEA community, build and strengthen trust between the Foundation and HEA partners, refine details and key aspects of the alliance to be reflected in the HEA work plan. The HEA’s growth is achieved through internal development, member acquisitions, and a strong HEA Secretariat in place, also with dedicated Foundation’s focal points facilitating an alliance-specific strategy and processes with the organization’s senior management team.
The WHO Foundation team has also been focusing on expanding the initial pool of partners using tools (including a LinkedIn outreach campaign) and best practices to gather data that assist decision making regarding partner identification and due diligence requirements. Criteria include not only financial data but also measures of strategic, operational and cultural fit.
Building trust is essential to the formation of the alliance, and trust must be co-created by all parties involved as they jointly map out the HEA future. Whenever possible, the WHO Foundation invites HEA partners to interact, exchange views and practices to find shared solutions to new problems/emergencies, as it showed the HEA’s response to the earthquake emergencies in TÃ¼rkiye and Syria in February 2023. As time goes on, the HEA will need to re-assess and renew itself, adapt to changing conditions and transform. The WHO Foundation keeps eyes on the horizon and identifies new opportunities that suggest possibilities for expansion on the alliance.
The Health Emergencies Alliance seeks to invite 50 businesses each to make a financial commitment of $200,000 per year over a three-year period. This membership commitment will power the management of the program and boost its ability to engage with more partners and be split to directly fund the Global Health Emergency Appeals and the Contingency Fund for Emergencies, which is a rapid response mechanism to release funds in the first 48 hours at the onset of an emergency. To reach this goal, the WHO Foundation aims to raise a total of $100 million from the private sector by 2027 in support of WHO Global Health Emergency Appeals
WHO Foundation will host the Health Emergencies Alliance and provide the necessary financial resources to ensure its value for existing and prospective donors including
Community & Brand Equity: Partners can join communications efforts to raise awareness of their work, have access to WHO Foundation media platforms and toolkits for co-branding purposes which will increase their brand reputation.
Innovation & Collaboration: Partners will have a platform on which to convene and incubate collaboration around private sector contribution to emergency response.
Employee & Customer Engagement: Health Emergencies Alliance will enable businesses to engage with employees and customers through tailored matching campaigns to improve interest in health emergency response.
Operational Information: Partners can access WHO Foundation reports with information about the communities, countries, and regions in which they operate.
Access to WHO Foundation Networks & Resources: Access to exclusive private briefings from the WHO Foundation and experts from the ground on key emergencies.