U.S. Participation in the World Health Organization Still Needs Improvement

ID-77-15: Published: May 16, 1977. Publicly Released: May 16, 1977.

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An update to a previous report by GAO on U.S. participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) addressed the need for clear-cut U.S. policies and objectives on international health.

Former recommendations by GAO that the two departments and one agency involved should formulate statements of such policies have not been carried out because of lack of coordination among U.S. health-concerned agencies. Although there has been some improvement in U.S. efforts to analyze WHO activities, information from overseas posts is often of little use because of inadequate collaboration between U.S. and WHO personnel. WHO planning and program budgeting procedures have improved, but there are still shortcomings in the process and in meeting U.S. needs for information. Current issues affecting WHO are (1) a proposal of the Geneva Group to limit budget growth of the U.N. and specialized agencies; and (2) a 1976 World Health Assembly resolution to allocate 60% of the Regular Program Budget to technical cooperation and services by 1980. GAO believed there was merit in the Geneva Group proposal, but expressed concerns about the resolution.

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