2021 Annual Report of UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development

As a member of the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development the WHO supports the UN-System’s work in engaging faith-based organizations and networks. The 2021 UN IATF-R Annual Report, accessible here, outlines
the initiatives taken by WHO and other UN entities to further coordination and collaboration with faith partners.

The faith community at all levels, have played a key role in health emergency preparedness and response, and in many places, in ongoing health service delivery. WHO recognizes this integral role and is working together with the faith community to support
national governments to achieve joint health goals. Working with faith partners results in more people being better protected from health emergencies; prepared and resilient to new emergencies; and enjoying better health and well-being, including
improved trust and social cohesion.  

In 2021 the WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) team together with faith partners, worked
to strengthen communication and advocacy activities in response to COVID-19 and for vaccine equity, finalized the WHO Strategy for Engaging Religious Leaders, Faith-Based Organizations and Faith Communities in Health Emergencies, and co-hosted with Religions for Peace the global conference Strengthening National Responses to Health Emergencies: WHO, Religious Leaders,
Faith-based Organizations, Faith Communities and National Governments
to share experiences, case studies, and lessons-learned from these partnerships.

Recognizing the importance of partnerships that are sustained and institutionalized beyond the COVID-19 response, to guide future emergency preparedness and response and to strengthen universal health care, WHO formalized the WHO Faith Network
in early 2022. Since mid 2022, two Communities of Practise have been established that address broader goals to establish a more just and equitable society.

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