Fix the FCTC’s Mechanisms of Assistance
Accelerated implementation of the FCTC is recognised as a key measure for addressing one of the major development challenges in the 21st century — non-communicable dis¬eases (NCDs).
Nevertheless, a chronic lack of resources to implement the Convention at the country level still prevails.
Tobacco control is one of the most cost-effective public health tools.
For example, it is estimated that five key FCTC interventions would require roughly US$0.05 in low-income countries and US$0.15 in upper-middle-income countries per capita per year.
Yet, the resources allocated for FCTC implementation remain inadequate. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that US$0.001 – $0.005 is spent annually per capita on tobacco control in low- and middle-income countries.
Investment in tobacco control is undervalued also at the international level. While NCDs represent 45 percent of the overall disease burden in developing regions, only 1 percent of total development assistance for health (DAH) was allo¬cated for their prevention or control in 2009.4 More than half of the DAH for NCDs came from private donors.
FCTC’s own mechanisms, set up to stimulate resources for tobacco control, are experiencing challenges. Official FCTC reports reveal that 40 percent of FCTC developing country Parties indicate receiving no assistance.6 Party reports also show that very little assistance is being provided overall — 7 in 10 high-income countries do not report providing any assistance for FCTC implementation.
Ways to overcome the current barriers to mobilise resources for FCTC implementation exist. Parties need to agree on improvements to FCTC’s Financial Resources and Mechan¬isms of Assistance in November 2012 — at COP5.
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