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High-level Consultation on the Financial and Economic Crisis and Global Health

Date: 19 January 2009
Place: Geneva, Switzerland

To address the growing concerns about the potential impact of the financial and economic crisis on global health, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan convened a high-level consultation on 19 January 2009. Participants of the consultation included delegates from Member States, civil society, private sector, international organizations and the media.

Based on evidence from previous economic crises, the consultation aimed to:

  • build awareness of the possible ways in which an economic downturn may have impact on health spending, health services and health outcomes;
  • make the case to a wider audience for sustaining investment in health; and
  • identify actions -- including monitoring of early warning signs -- that can help mitigate the negative impact of economic downturns.


  • HE Nimal S. de Silva
    Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Sri Lanka
  • Dr Margaret Chan
    Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Dr Andrew Steer
    Director General, Department for International Development, United Kingdom
  • Richard Newfarmer
    Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, World Bank
  • HE Maria Farani Azevêdo
    Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Brazil, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations
  • Dr Manoj Kurian
    Programme Executive, Health and Healing, World Council of Churches