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WHO Executive Board Adopts Resolution Calling For Reforms, Including Creation Of Emergency Fund, Health Care Worker Reserve

Agence France-Presse: WHO pledges reforms as it admits Ebola mistakes
“The World Health Organization’s chief on Sunday admitted the U.N. agency had been caught napping on Ebola and pledged reforms to avoid similar mistakes in future…” (Chanda, 1/25).

Bloomberg News: Ebola Spurs WHO Plan for Health Reserves After Missteps
“The World Health Organization’s board agreed to create a special fund to respond to outbreaks such as Ebola and to set up a global emergency workforce after the agency acknowledged missteps in its response to the epidemic…” (Bennett/Gale, 1/25).

Deutsche Welle: WHO agrees on contingency fund to speed up crisis reaction
“…Other [adopted measures] included the development of ‘quality, safe, effective, and affordable vaccines and treatments’ and naming a WHO special representative to coordinate the fight against Ebola. The resolution was brought by the United States and South Africa…” (1/25).

New York Times: WHO Members Endorse Resolution to Improve Response to Health Emergencies
“…The board also asked the organization’s director general to ensure that the WHO’s in-country staff members were selected for their expertise. Some critics have said the early response to Ebola was hobbled in part because some WHO workers lacked important qualifications or had been chosen largely for political reasons…” (Fink, 1/25).

Reuters: After Ebola, WHO to set up contingency fund, develop ‘surge capacity’
“…Major donors welcomed agreement on the emergency fund, which a WHO committee had recommended in 2011 should contain $100 million after the 2009-2010 influenza pandemic. [WHO Director-General Margaret] Chan told reporters that the figure was ‘a good starting point’…” (Nebehay, 1/25).

TIME: WHO Chief Unveils Reforms After Ebola Response Criticized
“…The needed changes, [Chan] said, include country-specific emergency workforces trained with ‘military precision’; a strengthened team of epidemiologists for detecting disease and a network of other providers to allow responders to reach ‘surge capacity’…” (Worland, 1/25).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. health agency urges better global preparedness against future outbreaks
“…U.N. Special Envoy for Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, conveyed a message from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reinforcing the call to draw lessons from this outbreak for the future. In addition, he urged Member States to ensure that the WHO has the resources it needs to end Ebola transmission and build structures for future pandemics…” (1/25).

Wall Street Journal: World Health Organization to Pursue Reforms
“…Sunday’s moves don’t mean that reforms will now be put in motion. The executive board, made up of health officials from 34 countries, sets policy for the WHO’s governing body, the World Health Assembly, to consider. That body, made up of the WHO’s 194 member countries, meets in May and will review the proposed reforms then…” (McKay, 1/25).

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