Government contributing SEK 40 million to WHO’s emergency fund
In light of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, the Government has decided to contribute SEK 40 million to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Contingency Fund for Emergencies. The aim of the fund is to strengthen the WHO’s ability to act rapidly, without negatively affecting its other activities, when, for example, there is an outbreak of communicable diseases.
“Health-related emergencies, such as the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, must be handled jointly. By contributing to the WHO’s emergency fund, Sweden is contributing to the global efforts to counter health threats and strengthen public health. This increases security not only internationally, but also here in Sweden,” says Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren.
“The WHO must now ensure preparedness across the world to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Our contribution facilitates these efforts and thereby helps to reduce the risk of a pandemic,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson.
The Government’s decision to classify COVID-19 as a threat to public health and a danger to society provides a legal basis for certain disease control efforts that may be necessary if there is extensive spread of disease in Sweden. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is monitoring developments with regard to the outbreak and considers that the risk of the disease spreading in Sweden is very low. The Agency also considers that health checks at airports are not currently a necessary measure.
The WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies was set up in response to the Ebola outbreak in 2015, when it was observed that many countries had inadequate capacity and preparedness to handle transnational health threats.