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A Reporter's Guide to U.S. Global Health Policy

Official International Agencies and Multilateral Organizations

In addition to its bilateral efforts, the U.S. also plays a major role in a number of multilateral global health organizations, including several under the auspices of the United Nations. The work of these organizations, in turn, significantly influences the context of U.S. global health policymaking.

This section provides background and resources on the primary multilateral organizations involved in global health policy.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO), created in 1948 and based in Geneva, is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. WHO provides international leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, laying out evidence-based options for policy makers, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends. It is governed by the World Health Assembly (attended by all Member States, including the U.S.) and an Executive Board of 34 members.

Access WHO’s media resources here.

Pan-American Health Organization

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), based in Washington, D.C., serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO and as the health organization of the Inter-American System. The health authorities of PAHO’s Member States (including the U.S.) set its technical and administrative policies.

Access PAHO’s media resources here.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

UNAIDS, based in Geneva, was created in 1996 as the successor to WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS. It is responsible for coordinating efforts to address HIV/AIDS across the U.N. system, consisting of 10 U.N. co-sponsors. UNAIDS activities include: mobilizing leadership and advocacy for effective action on the epidemic, providing strategic information and policies to guide global efforts, and monitoring and evaluating the response to the epidemic.

Access UNAIDS’ media resources here.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Created in 2002, the Geneva-based Global Fund is an independent, multilateral institution (not part of the United Nations) that finances HIV, TB and malaria programs in low- and middle-income countries. The Fund partners with governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities. Country-driven projects are evaluated based on technical merit and need. The U.S. is the largest single donor to the Global Fund.

Access the Global Fund’s media resources here.

World Bank

The World Bank, based in Washington, D.C., aims to fight poverty through grants, loans and technical assistance provided to low- and middle-income countries. Governed by 188 member countries, the Bank is comprised of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association.

Access the World Bank’s media resources here.

Current Issues in U.S. Global Health Policy Non-Governmental Organizations Involved in U.S. Global Health Policy