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News Outlets Examine Independent Panel’s Report On WHO’s Ebola Response, Preview World Health Assembly

Devex: ‘Business as usual’ no longer an option for WHO, member states
“The expert panel tasked to review the World Health Organization’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has noted areas in which the organization could have responded better. WHO, according to the panel’s interim report made public May 11, could have sought support from other U.N. agencies and humanitarian actors that comprise the U.N. Interagency Standing Committee — the body formed in 1992 to help coordinate humanitarian assistance, including in clarifying responsibilities, and helping identify and address gaps in response…” (Ravelo, 5/12).

Nature: Ebola failures prompt WHO rethink
“…The main reforms up for discussion [at the World Health Assembly] in Geneva include creating a US$100 million fund for response to fast-moving events such as the Ebola epidemic; setting up an international cadre of first responders to outbreaks; and setting guidelines for how aid groups, foundations, academic institutions, and corporations can take part in WHO meetings. … The agency is also asking member states to boost its budget by eight percent for 2016-17, after having received flat funding since 2012. And [Director-General Margaret] Chan wants to strengthen the International Health Regulations — rules agreed by member states in 2005 that require countries to set up basic outbreak-response mechanisms — but there are no specific proposals for how this would occur…” (Hayden, 5/13).

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