WHO and Italy sign first country cooperation strategy

WHO/Franz Henriksen

Italy and WHO signed a country cooperation strategy (CCS) for the first time on 13 September 2017. The CCS covers the period from 2017 to 2022 and defines a medium-term strategic framework for cooperation between the partners.

The document was signed by Dr Raniero Guerra, Director-General for Health Prevention, Ministry of Health of Italy, on behalf of Minister of Health Ms Beatrice Lorenzin; WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab; and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The signing took place alongside the 67th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Budapest, Hungary.

The CCS presents both past and present collaborations and achievements of Italy and WHO. It provides a framework for future collaboration within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, across the 3 levels of WHO and across sectors in Italy.

It is fully aligned with the European health policy framework Health 2020, and with WHO’s Twelfth General Programme of Work. Additionally, it builds on the joint report from a 2013 mission of the Ministry of Health of Italy, the Regional Health Authority of Sicily and WHO/Europe, which assessed health system capacity to manage sudden large influxes of migrants.

The document includes 4 strategic priorities:

  • implementing Health 2020, which is aligned with the roadmap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the national SDG agenda, with a focus on: governance and leadership; supporting Italian national health policies that reinforce whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches; and tackling inequities to address the social determinants of health, refugees’ and migrants’ health, climate change, and environment and health;
  • promoting well-being through the life-course by addressing and mitigating the impact of the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, including mental health and women’s and children’s health, and by governing innovation of the national health system based on achievements in the field of genomics;
  • addressing communicable diseases under the One Health approach, including implementing the national vaccination plan and supporting the strengthening of global responses to international public health emergencies; and
  • strengthening the role of Italy as a donor country in global health through the WHO global programmes and through enhanced collaboration between WHO and Italy in the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) priority countries.

The CCS was shaped through a series of consultations with representatives from all levels of WHO, the Government of Italy and scientific institutions.