Encourage your government to apply for an FCTC needs assessment

Recently, the European Union (EU) announced a grant of €5.2 million (US$7 million) for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The contribution is meant to stimulate international assistance and cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the FCTC.

The money will be used mainly for needs assessments in low and middle-income countries: “to help these countries to fully implement the FCTC and to better integrate tobacco control policies into their national health programmes and strategies”, according to a news release.

The grant is expected to provide needs assessments for up to 30 FCTC Parties.

The announcement was made shortly after the United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in September. At the meeting world leaders agreed to accelerate the implementation of the FCTC as a key step in tackling NCDs, which cause almost 2/3 of all global deaths.

Needs assessments provide a great opportunity for FCA members to partner with their governments to develop concrete plans as well as to scope out the work and costs for accelerated FCTC implementation.

A needs assessment is a critical first step in discussions between an FCTC Party which requires implementation assistance and possible donors. Needs assessments identify gaps in FCTC implementation and determine the work and resources required to accelerate it. This crucial information can serve as the basis for discussions with development partners on the concrete support needed to fulfil a Party’s FCTC obligations.

According to EU documents, EU delegations in countries selected for needs assessments will be closely involved in a policy dialogue led by the WHO FCTC Secretariat. Furthermore, civil society will be invited to join needs assessments in order to promote transparency in monitoring and evaluating implementation.

FCA members in low and middle-income countries should encourage their government to request a needs assessment from the Convention Secretariat, and themselves plan to join the mission.

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