About WHO

WHO's financing dialogue 2016

The financing dialogue is a key element of WHO’s reform process to ensure that the Organization is well-equipped to address the increasingly complex challenges of health in the 21st century and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. From persisting problems to new and emerging public health threats, WHO needs the capability and flexibility to respond to this evolving environment.

The financing dialogue successfully concluded on 31 October 2016 in Geneva. The aim of the meeting was to ensure a match between the work that we do and the resources available to finance the 2016-2017 Programme Budget.

Why a Financing Dialogue?

At a camp for displaced persons, located at St Jean de Galabadja, Bangui, some children attend classes in a temporary shelter.

WHO’s financing has undergone a major transformation over the past decades. While WHO’s budget has increased substantially, from US$ 1423 million for 1990-1991 to US$ 4400 million for the 2016–2017, the assessed contributions have remained stagnant.

WHO’s programme budget was originally funded solely by assessed contributions. Now WHO is financed by a mix of assessed and voluntary contributions, and the proportion of voluntary contributions has increased significantly to almost 80% of WHO’s total income.

Progress on Principles


The financing dialogue is based on a set of guiding principles of alignment, transparency, predictability, flexibility and broadening the donor base. Since 2013, there have been significant improvements in the predictability and transparency of WHO funding.

Key financial information

The Organization’s budget is financed through a mix of assessed contributions from Member States and voluntary contributions from both State and non-State actors.

Assessed contributions have remained fairly stagnant in the past 10 years at less than US$ 1 billion while voluntary contributions have become an increasingly larger part of the total budget.


WHO joins IATI and reinforces its commitment to increased transparency

On 31 October 2016 Director-General Margaret Chan announced WHO’s membership in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

The financing dialogue meeting objectives are threefold:

(i) to examine the overall Programme Budget 2016 – 2017, particularly programme areas which remain underfunded;
(ii) to provide an update on WHO Health Emergency Programme, including progress on results achieved and the financing situation; and
(iii) to initiate discussions on the proposed increase in assessed contributions, ahead of the governing body meetings to be held in 2017.