WHO / Europe, through the WHO European Office for Investment in Health and Development, based in Venice, Italy, has launched a new Expert Group in Economics (NEEG) made up of representatives and research specialists from 14 institutions. The group will work to facilitate the implementation of the WHO resolution on accelerating progress towards healthy and prosperous lives for all in the WHO European Region through the Economy Initiative. well-being (EWBi).
The NEEG will help countries and partners put people and their well-being at the center of fiscal and economic policy and decision-making by quantifying the benefits and costs of public goods such as food, fuel, housing, security, decent livelihoods and publicly funded primary care, which are essential to promote equitable societies.
Health is essential for stable societies and economies
âThe public, governments and the international community have unprecedented understanding that health is essential for the stability, resilience and sustainability of our societies and economies,â said Chris Elizabeth Brown, Head of the European Investment Office for WHO health and development. . âWe saw this at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s vital now as we focus on the transition and efforts to build a better future. “
The Initiative will result in the creation of an EWBi Alliance, a coalition of countries and partners that will advocate and advance the shift from market-based standards and policies to a well-being economy – enabling us all to experience a healthy living, realizing our full potential and enjoying basic rights.
“We will not be able to move forward when so many people in our societies are lagging behind,” adds Ms. Brown. âClosing the gaps in health and well-being within and between countries in the WHO European Region is therefore not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do for any country that is committed to building a better future.
Health equity at the heart of resilient public systems and secure societies
Increasing investment in public goods helps build stronger, more resilient and inclusive systems that promote well-being for all. For these to address social and economic inequalities, new economic thinking is needed, to go beyond traditional measures by including other indicators of well-being such as mental health, confidence and social cohesion.
NEEG will quantify these benefits and costs and provide the EWBi Alliance with scientific tools to guide future decisions.
The Group’s data-driven approach will help implement the recommendations of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development to identify and heal social divides; investing in strong, resilient and inclusive national health systems; and create an enabling environment to promote investment in health and health equity.