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Institute of Philanthropy participates at 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva

The following is issued on behalf of the Institute of Philanthropy

A delegation from the Institute of Philanthropy (“IoP”) – a charitable organisation established by The Hong Kong Jockey Club and its Charities Trust in September 2023 – participated in programmes surrounding the 77th World Health Assembly being held from 26 May to 1 June in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Assembly is the highest body for setting global health policy and the forum through which the World Health Organization (“WHO”) is governed by its 194 member states.

The IoP delegation took part in the launch of Investment Round – a new mechanism to mobilise sustainable financing for the WHO’s Fourteenth General Programme of Work, 2025-2028. Under the theme “All for Health, Health for All”, the launch was announced by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. It convened high-level representatives from member states, international organisations and philanthropic foundations.

At the launch, the IoP announced its donation of a first tranche of US$1.23 million (HK$9.6 million) to support WHO efforts to safeguard the health of migrant and displaced populations affected by climate change. This collaboration underscores the IoP’s commitment to address global health challenges in the context of climate change.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Director of the Institute of Philanthropy and CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said the donation was a milestone for the IoP as the first project it has supported led by a United Nations specialised agency. Through this donation, the IoP is aiming to help address the critical issue of health arising from climate change in keeping with its mission to support globally impactful projects.

The IoP’s donation to the WHO was announced by Dr Gabriel Leung, Director of the Institute of Philanthropy and Executive Director, Charities and Community of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, at the Investment Round launch.

The IoP also partnered the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to co-sponsor a side event on pandemic preparedness in support of the Global Health Emergency Corps (“GHEC”). The GHEC was launched by the WHO and its partners at the 76th World Health Assembly in May 2023 to strengthen collaboration and emergency response levels across countries and health networks.

Dr Michael Ryan, Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization, delivered opening remarks at the side event, while Dr Leung and Dr Christopher Elias, President, Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both delivered addresses. Attendees included members of national delegations, representatives of multilateral organisations and philanthropic foundations.

Throughout the duration of the Assembly, the IoP delegation held a series of bilateral meetings with the Deputy Director-General, Assistant Directors-General and other senior WHO leadership to exchange views on global health issues of common concern.

In recognition of the need for multilateral co-operation to safeguard global health and address the health impact of climate change, the IoP has undertaken the following steps:

  • Signed a formal Statement of Collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation on the occasion of the first-ever Health Day at COP28 to strengthen global health resilience to climate change. 
  • Is collaborating with the National Health Commission to enhance human resources for health and develop top medical and health-care talent in China.
  • Is supporting the University of Cambridge’s Trinity Challenge on Antimicrobial Resistance, which promotes collaboration and innovation in addressing the health needs of low- and middle-income jurisdictions that lack community-level data on antimicrobial resistance.


Institute of Philanthropy
The Institute of Philanthropy was established in September 2023 through a strategic seed grant of HK$5 billion (US$640 million) from The Hong Kong Jockey Club and its Charities Trust. Established as a “think-fund-do” tank for China and Asia, the IoP is dedicated to promoting philanthropic thought leadership and enhancing sector capabilities at local, regional and global levels in collaboration with fellow funders. It seeks to provide an Asia-based platform bringing global stakeholders together to promote the betterment of societies everywhere.