The announcement of Anil Soni as the inaugural CEO of the recently launched WHO Foundation has been welcomed by President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation Elizabeth Cousens and members of the UN Foundation Board, including Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, co-chair of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, and former Prime Minister of Norway, and former WHO Director-General.
“Anil Soni is an innovative leader with an impressive track record of bringing people together to tackle public health challenges, and we look forward to working together to support the World Health Organization at this critical time for global public health,” said Cousens.
“Our experience working with WHO to create the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has shown us firsthand that people, companies, and organizations all over the world are keen to step up to help because they understand that global health is in everyone’s interests and that solidarity is strength,” she said. “We welcome Anil to the family of partners working to advance solidarity and collective action solutions with the United Nations, and its health agency WHO.”
In March of this year, WHO requested help from the UN Foundation to mobilize support for its global response to the pandemic. The UN Foundation, in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, launched and runs the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which has raised more than $238m from over 653,000 individuals, companies and philanthropies. The WHO Foundation has now joined as a core fiduciary partner of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Longstanding UN Foundation Board member, and former Director-General of WHO, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland said “As the world’s pre-eminent global health organization, it has never been more important for WHO to galvanize everyone everywhere to help provide better health for all, and I am delighted that the WHO Foundation will be a new partner in this critical work.”
A former Prime Minister of Norway, Dr Brundtland now co-chairs the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, an independent body of leaders and experts advising policymakers on how to better prepare for future global health emergencies. In September, the Monitoring Board’s latest report, A World in Disorder, warned that the world cannot afford to be unprepared again when the next pandemic hits. Dr Brundtland added:
“COVID-19 has underlined what we already knew: that health systems everywhere were underprepared and unequal, and our experience with the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has shown how essential it is to mobilize early and agile funding to tackle urgent health needs around the world, like the pandemic.”