Allocation of Funds by World Health Organisation (Economic Approach)


This post is written by Aryan Pujari, a first year student of Amity Law School, Raipur, Chattisgarh

  • Reason behind the “Article”-

Amid COVID-19 the cold war between India and China is on. Meanwhile World Health Organisation got a “China biased” tag and USA came to a conclusion not to be a member of WHO any further. Ultimately the big chunk of fund which is about 32% of whole within the period of 2018-19 flowing from USA towards WHO for research purposes will be closed.

  • Origin and Evolution-

To understand the funding mechanism of WHO lets first have a glance when, how and why WHO was instituted. Revisiting the chapters of Decision that changed global scenario, the most prevalent one is of institutionalization of “The League of Nations” after the first World War ended.  One of its tasks was to “endeavour to take steps in matters of international concern for the prevention and control of disease[1]. With the outbreak of Second World War works of international health work came to an end. In 1954 when the conference to setup United Nation was conducted delegate of Brazil and China proposed for the establishment of an International Health Organization.

A Technical Preparatory Committee met in Paris from 18 March to 5 April 1946 and drew up proposals for the Constitution which were presented to the International Health Conference in New York City between 19 June and 22 July 1946. On the basis of these proposals, the Conference drafted and adopted the Constitution of the World Health Organization, signed 22 July 1946 by representatives of 51 Members of the UN and of 10 other nations.

This hereby answers all the questioned asked above.

  • Where does WHO receive funding-

The primary aim of WHO is to serve the health people present worldwide and particularly to the citizen of member countries. WHO’s work is financed through dues paid by Member States to the Organization (assessed contributions) and through voluntary contributions from Member States, international organizations and non-State actors. A small part of voluntary contributions and the assessed contributions make up the flexible resources of the Organization. 977,892,584 U.S. dollars has been assessed for the year of 2020-21.

There are a few contributions made every year for the year of 2018-19 nations such as UK, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Netherland are among the top 10[2].

  • Understanding United Nations Budgeting System-

If USA is one of the biggest contributors then Why can’t we find the name in the above list? Being one of the oldest and predominant international organisations in the world UN budgeting system have a bit of twist and turns. The finances made to organisation like WHO is mainly divided into two heads-

  1. Assessed contributions-

Assessed contribution is the amount paid by obligatory members and contribute amounts to regular budget of United Nations for various peace keeping actions. To avoid any inferiority complex by the smallest countries, the base value is kept as 0.001 percent of the total GDP. And also, the maximum a country can contribute is 22 percent of the whole GDP. United States of America falls under assessed list and have the record as the only country reaching the limits.

  1. Voluntary Contribution-

These are the amount left to the discretion of the nation which is contribution. The contributions amount to more then half of the total amount. Among all the major programs and funds of the U.N. General Assembly, UNDP receives the highest voluntary funding, which peaked at $9.8 billion in 2010-2011[3].

  • Allocation of funds-
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All the finances received by WHO are used for the eradication of global health issues. Following are few investments of WHO-

  1. Polio Eradication-

Polio eradication has been of the most successful step taken by WHO. According to the 2018-19 reports Who have spent $158.1 million 27.4% of whole budget is spent on Polio eradication. When this initiative was carried out 350000 people used to die out of paralysis but the curve is flattened now as to 99%.

  1. Increase access to essential health and nutrition service-

World Health Organisation spent more than $100 million which is 17.4% of the budget. Health services must integrate a stronger focus on ensuring optimum nutrition at each stage of a person’s life, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that the right investment in nutrition could save 3.7 million lives by 2025[4].

  1. Vaccine-Preventable Practice-

World health Organisation not just by physical means but also by articles and papers it publishes extend help to people. There are a huge range of vaccine for travellers as well who keep travelling different countries. WHO analysis the health condition of every country and avail vaccine for the most predominant vaccine as it demands. Summary tables for routine vaccinations can be found on the WHO website at the web page of WHO’s recommendations for routine immunization − summary tables[5].

  1. Tuberculosis-

The third biggest chunk of investment go for treatment and research of Tuberculosis. With in the year of 2018-19 $33.1 million dollar have been invested on the same. A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS) But by due caution and care it falling down to 2% every year which is aimed to reach 3-4% a year. Also, by 2030 WHO have planned to eradicate this issue as included under the sustainable development plan.

  1. Take on COVID-19-

The World Health Organization and the European Investment Bank will boost cooperation to strengthen public health, supply of essential equipment, training and hygiene investment in countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic[6]. This bond is vital because WHO made a networking with scientists through out the world so as to find the way out of the crisis. It have made a database which is fully accessible by any one to ensure that even a common man will get any answer regarding COVID-19 that he is hunting for.


Article above shows the major allocation of fund by World Health Organisation and the contribution of countries. USA’s decision on barring fund for WHO may affect the research process primarily in such a disastrous situation and there will be a global impact of the same as USA is among the major ASSESSED CONTRIBUTOR of World Health Organisation.








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