CAPA Hears the WHO

Global Health Organization Calls on Allies to Craft New Plan for Stopping Alcohol Harm

The world works together to control alcohol harmAs Big Alcohol expand its reach across every continent, international cooperation becomes critical to protecting public health. No organizations have the capacity for coordination that the World Health Organization (WHO) does, and it is promising that they have identified alcohol harm as a priority. For over a decade, the organization has relied on a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol and targeted a 10% reduction in member states’ alcohol consumption. Nonetheless, WHO’s own evaluators drily note that it is “unlikely” that any members states will reach that benchmark. Clearly it is time to reassess the strategy.

Conscious of this, the WHO issued a call for comment on a new iteration of the Global Strategy. Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Prevention Alliance were both invited to contribute. The letters of comment are attached below, but both emphasized:

1. The need for aggressive opposition towards the global alcohol industry.
2. An emphasis on social justice and equity when assessing alcohol impact and prevention, and amplifying the voices of indigenous minorities, LGBTQ communities, and other vulnerable populations.
3. CAPA and AJ project priorities, including Charge For Harm, advertising restrictions, and tighter control of products designed to promote overconsumption and youth access.

“We’re a small part of a worldwide fight,” said Carson Benowitz-Fredericks, Research Manager for Alcohol Justice, “against a very strong industry. But there are a lot of us across the globe. The WHO Global Strategy gives us a blueprint for coming together, pushing back, and saving lives.”

READ MORE – the original WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol document.

READ MORE – CAPA’s comments on the WHO Global Strategy.

READ MORE – Alcohol Justice’s comments on the WHO Global Strategy.