WHO and Belgium sign country cooperation strategy

Cynthia Vertessen/Cabinet of Minister De Croo, Belgium

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, signed a country cooperation strategy with Maggie De Block, Minister of Health of Belgium, and Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development on 21 November 2016

Maggie De Block, Minister of Health of Belgium, and Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, signed a country cooperation strategy (CCS) on 21 November 2016, committing both Belgium and WHO to collaborate in 5 priority health areas over the next 6 years. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo was also present at the signing.

“The CCS underlines the commitment of Belgium in its collaboration with WHO and we are looking forward to the 6-year strategic partnership and are committed to its implementation,” said Dr Jakab.

The priority areas are:

  • promoting people-centred health systems and public health capacity;
  • addressing noncommunicable diseases through, for example, the promotion of healthy lifestyles;
  • strengthening prevention and management of health crises through, for example, the responsible use of antibiotics and tackling antibiotic resistance;
  • working on environment and health issues, including reducing air pollution; and
  • addressing communicable diseases, for example, through cooperation on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The priority areas were identified through a consultation process between WHO and the Belgian Government, including federal- and regional-level ministers of health and the Minister of Development Cooperation. It is the first time that WHO and Belgium have agreed on a strategic agenda for common activities.

Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, the Russian Federation and Switzerland have also signed a CCS with WHO.