Press Release WHO/56
24 July 1998
SPECIAL FUND CREATED TO SUPPORT REFORMS AT WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Rockefeller Foundation have announced today the creation by the Foundation of a special $2.5 million Global Health Leadership Fund to support the reform process at WHO.
The new Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Professor Gordon Conway, signed a memorandum of understanding this morning in Geneva.
Disbursed over the next two years, this non-renewable fund will give Dr Brundtland, who was elected to this post in May 1998 and formally took office on Tuesday, the financial freedom to recruit top-level expertise into the Organization.
Dr Brundtland saluted the Rockefeller Foundation for their generous and rapid contribution that would "allow WHO to invite committed and talented professionals to come and share their knowledge and experience with us".
"WHO is seeking new partnerships with other UN agencies, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the research community and the private sector. The memorandum we have signed today sends a strong message to all of them that the change process in WHO is well underway," emphasized Dr Brundtland.
The agreement signed in Geneva today strengthened a relationship between WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation that extends back to the early years of WHO. The Foundation's involvement in international health began in 1913. The Foundation also provided significant financial, technical and scientific support to the health section of the League of Nations.
For further information journalists can contact Richard Leclair, Health Communications and Public Relations, WHO, Geneva. Telephone (41 22) 791 32 23. Fax. (41 22) 791 48 58. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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