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39 Organizations Pledge to Close Gaps on Global Health Equity at #WEF23

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39 Organizations Pledge to Close Gaps on Global Health Equity at #WEF23

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  • World Economic Forum leads launch of a first-in-kind global heath equity pledge to create a healthier and fairer world
  • Innovative Zero Health Gaps Pledge will counter growing global disparities by mobilizing executive leadership to prioritize health equity action throughout their organizations
  • Some 39 organizations from nine countries committed to join the Forum on its new journey

Some 39 organizations signed the Global Health Equity Network Zero Health Gaps Pledge at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos and committed to take concerted action to advance health equity globally. The pledge includes 10 key commitments all signatories have made to embed health equity principles throughout their operations, workforce and guiding philosophies. It marks the beginning of an historic journey to making health equity an integral part of business strategies globally and an important step towards a world without health disparities.

The Zero Health Gaps Pledge is part of the Global Health Equity Network, which brings together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to advance a collective vision of zero health gaps, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This innovative pledge is a public statement from its members declaring their commitment to take concrete steps to improve health equity across sectors and geographies and to help build a resilient and inclusive global economy that drives value for all.

“The tremendous amount of support across sectors for the Zero Health Gaps Pledge highlights a growing understanding of the need for multistakeholder collaboration to address global health inequities,” said Shyam Bishen, Head, Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum. “Through the Global Health Equity Network and the Forum’s broader Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, businesses are responding to the call to action from leaders in global public health and playing their part in creating a healthier, more equitable world.”

The pledge is a direct response to the persistent and growing global health disparities between and within countries. The difference in average life expectancy at birth between high- and low-income countries is glaring at 78 and 64 years respectively. At the most extreme, Japan and the Central African Republic have a difference in average life expectancy of over 30 years. Global climate and health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have heightened both the severity of these inequities and the potential consequences of inaction. The Zero Health Gaps Pledge is a pledge to take action today so we can reverse this reality tomorrow.

See related article: World Economic Forum Signs Partnership with Indonesia on Blue Carbon to Support National Climate Goals

“Salesforce is proud to join the World Economic Forum’s Zero Health Gaps Pledge alongside so many organizations addressing the crisis of inequality and its impact on the health and well-being of billions of people around the world,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO of Salesforce. “We believe business is the greatest platform for change and by working together with leaders across the global economy we can help build a more healthy, sustainable and equitable future for all.”

“Significant disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes are still pervasive around the globe and geopolitical and financial volatility risk exacerbating them even further,” said Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Global Health Equity Network Co-Chair. “We all have a stake in global health equity. Ensuring that every human being can live to their full potential is the right thing to do from a moral standpoint. And closing the health gap is also essential to support economic growth and build more resilient societies. Our goal is clear – we must work together to build a healthier world where everyone can thrive.”

“The need for health equity has come into sharp focus as public health crises have disproportionately impacted under-resourced and historically marginalized populations. The American Heart Association has long been committed to improving access to quality healthcare globally and we are proud to help close the health gaps as a supporter of the World Economic Forum’s Zero Health Gaps Pledge,” said Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association and Global Health Equity Network Co-Chair. “Employers and industry leaders are well-positioned to significantly improve employee and community health. They play a critical role in confronting upstream drivers of health with broad and bold action to dramatically improve healthcare access and quality, socioeconomic support, payment reform, value-based care and mental health.”

“Deloitte is proud to be committed to the World Economic Forum’s Zero Health Gaps Pledge. As an organization deeply committed to its purpose of making an impact that matters, we believe that business has a critical role to play in helping more of the world’s people achieve their full human potential in every aspect of health and well-being. Individual health outcomes are often directly influenced by the choices companies make because those outcomes are influencing factors outside the healthcare system, such as access to food, housing and healthcare information,” said Joe Ucuzoglu, Global CEO, Deloitte and Global Health Equity Network Co-Chair.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to join the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, partnering with the World Economic Forum and the other organizations making this important commitment,” said Greg A. Adams, Chair and CEO, Kaiser Permanente. “Joining this effort honours our 80-year history of standing for equity, inclusion and diversity as we pursue our mission to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare and to improve the health of all the communities we serve. We are committed to taking direct action against racism and social injustice and to help unite the healthcare industry around eliminating root causes of inequities so we can achieve health equity for everyone around the globe.”

Through the Zero Health Gaps Pledge and broader work of the Global Health Equity Network, the World Economic Forum and its partners support organizations in their health equity journeys by developing tools, pathways and partnerships to evolve best practice on action, investment and measurement. Many members of the network are among the first signatories of the pledge, including Agility, the American Heart Association, AstraZeneca, Black Directors Health Equity Network, Deloitte, Hologic, Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic, PATH, Pfizer, Royal Philips, Sanofi and Takeda.

By signing the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, organizations are taking ownership of their health equity impact and signalling a continuing public step towards commitment and action. Organizations at all stages of their health equity journey are encouraged to sign the pledge. Learn more about the “pledge and how to become a signatory here.

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