The World Health Organization (WHO) recently sought feedback on the first draft of their WHO Action plan to reduce alcohol harm 2022-2030 (Action Plan) to support the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (the Global Strategy). This first draft has been developed following consultation on the WHO’s Working Document of an Action Plan to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (Working Document)in December 2020.
FARE welcomed the development of the Action Plan to accelerate action to reduce alcohol harm, and the revised target of reducing alcohol use by at least 20 per cent by 2030. We were also pleased to see the strong statements within the plan that alcohol policy should be protected from the alcohol industry and related bodies, which have a record of taking action to prevent, delay and diminish effective alcohol policy.
FARE identified seven areas for action to strengthen the Action Plan, with key recommendations centered around prioritising action on the WHO’s Best Buys of addressing price, availability and alcohol, and protecting alcohol policy against industry interference. A complete list of recommendations can be found within the submission.
The second draft of the Action Plan is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. The WHO Secretariat will consult with Member States about the second draft over the next couple of months, with a view to discussing the Action Plan at the World Health Assembly meeting in May 2022.
FARE key actions to strengthen the Action Plan:
- Enhance the structure of the plan to include a summary or overview of the Action Plan and identify priority actions.
- Prioritise and emphasise the WHO Best Buys of addressing price, availability and promotion.
- Remove the role of the alcohol industry and other ‘economic operators’ from the Action Plan.
- Strengthen language and actions within the plan to ensure it is effective.
- Report on progress with implementation of the Action Plan.
- Investigate development of a WHO Framework for Alcohol Control.
- Monitor and respond to emerging trends