Career: Advisor to UN Secretary General for Innovative Financing, Chair UNITAID and Millennium Foundation, UN Deputy
Previously French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Health etc. Prior to that Cardiologist and Professor of Public Health
Interests: Global Health, Medicine, Mico-Financing
Hometown: Paris, France
Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy is one of the world’s foremost experts on innovative financing to reach the Millennium Development Goals. In 2006, he founded the Leading Group on Solidarity Levies to Fund Development at Paris Conference on Innovative Development Financing Mechanisms and was elected President of UNITAID in the same year.
Prior, he held several ministerial positions in France, including Minister of Health (1993-1995), Minister of Culture & Communication (1995-1997), Minister for Solidarity, Health & Family (2004-2005) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2007). Before embracing policy initiatives, Dr. Douste-Blazy was practicing cardiologist & Professor of Public Health at Toulouse University in France.
On 19th Feb. 2008, he became Special Advisor on Innovative Financing for Development, with the rank of UN Under-Secretary-General by the UN, following his experience as chairman of the International Drug Purchase Facility hosted by the WHO et al.
UNITAID’s mission is to contribute to scaling up access to treatment for HIV/ AIDS, malaria & tuberculosis, primarily for people in low-income countries, by leveraging price reductions for quality diagnostics & medicines, and accelerating the pace at which these are made available.
Since UNITAID’s overall objective is to serve the needs of the poorest countries & most vulnerable populations, it dedicates at least 85% of its funds to providing health commodities to low-income countries. UNITAID uses less than 10% of its funds to purchase products for lower middle-income countries & less than 5% for upper middle-income countries. These criteria are a key consideration in the decision to fund partner projects.
The Millennium Foundation for Innovative Finance for Health was established in Nov. 2008 as an independent non-profit Swiss foundation, located in Geneva. Their mission is aligned with helping achieve the three health-related Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the UN by implementing new innovative financing mechanisms to expand sources of funding available to help eradicate life-threatening contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria & tuberculosis among the world´s most vulnerable populations. These mechanisms have the form of projects, such as “MassiveGood” which was launched in March 2010 and aims at giving travelers the possibility to add a $2, £2 or €2 micro-contribution to the purchase of a travel reservation, with all proceeds going to fight against diseases as mentioned above.
Video: Philippe Douste-Blazy – Advocate for the Millennium Development Goals