Press release: WHO and UNOPS sign partnership for health care delivery in Africa

ADDIS ABABA - New memorandum of understanding (MOU) will intensity collaboration on the sustainable management of health programmes and projects across the continent.

The agreement is the first of its kind between WHO and UNOPS in Africa.

The MOU will allow the two organizations to share information, resources and streamline collaboration in an effort to strengthen regional capacities in the areas of healthcare infrastructure, the procurement of medical equipment, and the management of health programmes and projects. This joint work will also focus on the capacity development of local, regional and national governments.

"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."

WHO and UNOPS began working together in Ethiopia in response to an outbreak of polio in in July 2013. UNOPS has helped improve the operational efficiency of WHO, enabling the organization to focus its efforts on technical assistance, in order to address the health challenges faced by the country, particularly with regard to 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 international community is defining targets for the Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted in September of this year, some of which will include a strong emphasis on universal health coverage. The partnership will help to increase equitable access to health care, by expanding health networks and infrastructure, while also improving access to treatment, medicines and technology through the efficient procurement and supply chain management processes.