On 8-10 November 2021, Dr Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President, Health and other senior representatives from The Rockefeller Foundation joined World Health Organization (WHO) representatives to review the strategic directions of collaboration between the two Organizations. Notably they discussed support for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme and the Science Division, including the WHO Hub on for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, genomic surveillance, infodemiology, vaccine equity and demand generation and WHO’s ongoing work with philanthropic organizations.
“The Rockefeller Foundation and WHO have worked together to address global health challenges since WHO was first established,” said Ms Jane Ellison, Executive Director, External Relations and Governance. “The support of the Foundation has been – and will continue to be – fundamental, helping WHO to make major advances in providing equitable health outcomes for all.”
The Rockefeller Foundation’s collaboration with WHO dates back to when the WHO constitution was first created. Over the past two decades, The Rockefeller Foundation has continued to be a key collaborator, providing over US$ 25.3 million in support to WHO programmes.
Recent collaboration has focused on digital health building capacity in data and innovation to protect and promote health and well-being. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the two Organizations worked together towards the goal of maintaining essential health services everywhere, expanding virus testing capacity, strengthening and accelerating the digitalization of WHO guidelines, and advancing approaches to using digital products to end the current pandemic and prevent future ones. The Rockefeller Foundation and WHO currently co-lead the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) Genomic Surveillance Working Group.
“The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes WHO’s unique and vital role in safeguarding global health and well-being,” said Dr Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President, Health, The Rockefeller Foundation. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to support WHO to be a strong and efficient Organization.”
The overall objectives of the strategic dialogue were for the two Organizations to gain a better understanding of each other’s current work and priorities, and explore expanded areas for collaboration based on a more deliberate and forward-looking relationship leveraging the comparative advantages of each Organization to maximize public health impact.