The Scottish Government has announced that the First Minister is pledging funding to support global action and disease prevention, with this to be further announced at the UN General Assembly.
Over the next five years, £2.5 million is being committed by Scotland to the Health4Life Fund, with the aim of preventing non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers. The fund is jointly coordinated by the World Health Organisation, United Nations Children’s Fund, and United Nations Development Programme, with this helping to drive action in the supporting of countries as they look to build stronger health systems.
Scotland were the first high-income donor to be invited by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with this following the government’s collaboration with Global South partners as they look to tackle non-communicable diseases. That commitment was part o the 2023-24 Programme for Government.
Humza Yousaf, Scottish First Minister, commented:
“This is a significant step which cements Scotland’s role as a global champion in tackling non-communicable diseases and highlights the important contribution we can make when it comes to tackling health emergencies across the world.
“I am very proud to be able to announce our plans to become the first high-income country to contribute to the World Health Organisation’s Health4Life Fund. This investment will allow us to support the development of new programmes to improve healthcare and build stronger health systems in Malawi, Zambia, and Rwanda.
“The WHO predicts that by 2030 non-communicable diseases – such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers - will be the primary cause of death across sub-Saharan Africa, with around 3.8 million premature deaths.
“Scotland has longstanding expertise in delivering action to tackle non-communicable disease domestically, which is why are well placed to share learning beyond our borders and with partners like the WHO.
“The funding that I am confirming today makes Scotland the first high-income country to support the vital Health4Llife fund - but I very much hope that we will not be the last.”
In a historic moment, the First Minister will also meet with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, Director General of the WHO, marking the first time that a WHO Director General has met with the Scottish First Minister.
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