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Enabling Quick Action to Save Lives: Contingency Fund for Emergencies - 2018 Update

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The Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) has been a gamechanger for WHO. It allows WHO to respond rapidly to disease outbreaks and health emergencies - often in 24 hours or less. This saves lives and helps prevent unnecessary suffering. Furthermore, a quick response dramatically reduces the costs of controlling outbreaks and emergencies, as well as the wider social and economic impacts.

The CFE is unearmarked, giving WHO the crucial flexibility it needs to act quickly in response to disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and humanitarian emergencies. For example, in 2018 the CFE has proved critical in allowing WHO to deploy teams to help contain two Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; assist government efforts to stop the largest Lassa fever outbreak on record in Nigeria; and provide support for the earthquake in Papua New Guinea.

Donor partners increasingly see the value of the CFE as a global public good. They have contributed nearly US$30 million to the fund so far in 2018. This is more than double the level of contributions from all of last year. In addition, six new donors have joined the list of contributors to the CFE. More and more, donors see the CFE as excellent value for money and a sound investment.

With outbreaks and health emergencies continuing unabated, WHO is working with Member States to reach the CFE’s target of $100 million over the 2018-2019 biennium. Ensuring the fund’s sustainability strengthens global health security