29 MARCH 2015 | ADDIS ABABA - The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to intensify collaboration on sustainable management of health programmes and projects in Africa. The agreement is the first of its kind between WHO and UNOPS in the African region.
The MOU commits the two institutions to share information, collaborate and foster synergies to strengthen regional capacities in the areas of sustainable health infrastructure, procurement (specially focused on medical equipment) and project management of health programmes and projects.
“The formalization of our collaboration with UNOPS is timely and welcomed by WHO as it will improve the efficiency of our operations at country level,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “This agreement is part of WHO’s regional transformation agenda in Africa for responsive strategic operations.”
In Ethiopia, WHO and UNOPS have been collaborating since July 2013 to support the polio outbreak response activities and other operations in the country. UNOPS, as the operational arm of the United Nations, has played a key role in improving WHO’s operational efficiency, thus enabling the Organization to fully focus on providing technical assistance to Ethiopia to address the health challenges faced by the country particularly in time of health emergencies.
“The signing of this MOU, the first in Africa, is a further step forward in the sustainable development of healthcare delivery across Africa, and emphasizes UNOPS service to partners through operational excellence,” said Mr Garry Conille, UNOPS Regional Director for Africa.
The MOU comes at a time when the deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is approaching and countries around the world are together defining the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals with, in health, strong emphasis on universal health coverage. The WHO and UNOPS partnership in Africa will help to increase equitable access to health care by expanding health networks and infrastructure, and improve access to treatment, medicines and technology through efficient procurement and supply chain management, as well as support capacity development of national governments.