UN chief appoints 12 experts to his task force to prevent and manage future health crises

With funds from the World Bank Group, UNICEF delivers essential supplies to Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola outbreak. Photo: World Bank/Francis Ato Brown

29 June 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the membership of his Global Health Crises Task Force, which aims to help countries and communities prepare and respond to emergencies, such as the recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika.

Naming of the Task Force follows a report released this past February, in which a high-level panel laid out 27 recommendations for national, regional and international action to better prepare and more proactively respond to health emergencies.

The Task Force will be tasked for monitoring, coordinating and supporting the follow-up and implementation of those recommendations.

Co-led by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Director-General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the Task Force will also bring to the attention of the Secretary-General issues relating to emerging health crises and to gaps or weaknesses in the global health architecture.

The members announced today include Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien.

Mr. Eliasson, who also serves as the Chair of the Task Force, will be supported by David Nabarro, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

According to a note from the UN Spokesperson, other members of the Task Force include external experts with backgrounds in infectious diseases, community health care, public health and development, and with experience in risk assessment, implementation of humanitarian action, management of outbreak responses, financing, research and innovation.


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