France and the WHO


The World Health Organization (WHO), created in 1948, is an international organization comprising 194 Member States, headquartered in Geneva. As a member of the WHO Executive Board, France’s main goal is to improve the health of populations and international health security, particularly by strengthening the implementation of the International Health Regulations. That is why, in coordination with its partners, it has developed a fruitful strategic partnership with WHO.

France, a major global health player

It supports the WHO’s role of global health coordinator and contributes more than €500 million per year to multilateral funds that it has helped create including Gavi l’Alliance du Vaccin, the Vaccine Alliance, Unitaid and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is the 12th-largest contributor to the WHO budget.

France and WHO are working on five priority areas for cooperation:

  • Developing the WHO Academy to provide better training to healthcare professionals ;
  • Strengthening health systems to achieve universal health coverage ;
  • Providing better protection of populations facing emergency health situations, especially by strengthening health systems, fighting epidemic outbreaks and diseases that could become pandemics and implementing the International Health Regulations (IHR), including through activities conducted by the WHO Lyon Office;
  • Improving public health and well-being through prevention, health promotion, health education, health literacy and the reduction of risk factors, in connection with non-communicable diseases and environmental health factors;
  • Implementing the health component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, in line with the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All, to achieve SDG3.

See the “France at WHO” infographic

The WHO Academy in Lyon

Created in 2000, the WHO Lyon Office helps countries strengthen their national surveillance and response systems. The goal is for them to detect, assess and report public health risks of international concern.
It plays a vital role in the international surveillance of infectious diseases and in the drafting of WHO recommendations to prevent and tackle them.

What are the global public health priorities?

France shares basic health priorities with WHO.

  • A cross-cutting approach that considers universal health coverage (UHC) a priority as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This model is inspired by the French health system, which was established in 1945 with the creation of social security.
  • The need underlined by the France’s Strategy for Global Health to strengthen health systems and emergency preparedness. To realize the UHC, more solid health systems need to be built in all countries. This is in line with the ambitious “triple billion” goals announced in the WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work, 2019-2023.
  • Efforts to make international health security and the fight against epidemic and pandemic diseases one of the five priorities of the 2020-2025 Framework Agreement between France and WHO.

Further information :

Updated: April 2023