Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is to pledge up to £2.5 million over the next five years to a fund which supports global action on the prevention of non-communicable diseases.
The investment in the Health4Life fund is expected to be announced at an event at the UN General Assembly in New York this week. The fund is co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
The First Minister will also meet the director general of the WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this week. It will be the first time a WHO director general has met with a First Minister of Scotland.
Mr Yousaf said: “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 WHO’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 long-standing expertise in delivering action to tackle non-communicable disease domestically, which is why we 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.”