The Director’s 2021 annual report on the work of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (the Bureau), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, highlights the technical cooperation undertaken by the Bureau during the period from July 2020 to June 2021, within the framework of the 2020–2025 Strategic Plan of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The theme of the report is: Working through the COVID-19 Pandemic. The period covered has been the most challenging ever encountered by PAHO. The pandemic, through its devastating health and economic consequences, has severely impacted people’s lives and livelihoods and disrupted countries, societies, economies, and their development. This has occurred in conjunction with the inevitable challenges on the road to equitable, sustainable development and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2018–2030.
The publication opens with a preface by the Director of PASB, a concise executive summary, and a brief introduction. It then presents a comprehensive review of PAHO’s technical cooperation, and of the Bureau’s institutional and strengthening functions. The report highlights achievements, challenges, and lessons learned as the Bureau undertook technical cooperation with PAHO Member States at national, subregional, and regional levels within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, working with traditional and new partners to find equitable solutions for emerging and persisting health issues in the Region of the Americas. It also looks ahead, analyzing those opportunities brought to light by the COVID-19 experience for strengthening PAHO’s promotion of and contribution to equity and progressive realization of the right to health. Moreover, it indicates how the Bureau, with the concurrence and guidance of Member States, and in collaboration with partners, will take advantage of such opportunities. This report is complemented by the Financial Report of the Director, and the Report of the External Auditor for the year 2020.