Faith communities and faith-based organizations (FBOs) are integral to the provision of comprehensive health care in many countries, including national responses to pandemics. In some countries, a significant proportion of healthcare is delivered by FBOs. Critical roles played by faith partners during the COVID-19 pandemic included inpatient care, community education and engagement to prevent transmission and build confidence in vaccines and advocacy, as well as calling for equity in access to vaccines and other essential health services.

Faith organizations, including members of the WHO Faith Network for emergency preparedness and response and other partnerships between civil society and faith organizations, have developed and released statements as the Inter-governmental Negotiating Body (INB) of WHO Member States begins its ninth meeting. At this meeting Member States will continue to negotiate a Pandemic Accord ahead of the World Health Assembly in May 2024.

These statements support Member States in their progress on developing the pandemic , highlight the key role faith and faith-based organizations play in pandemic and epidemic preparedness and response and make a strong call for equity, justice, collaboration and compassion in the text and any future responses to health emergencies.

WHO convenes the Faith Network for emergency preparedness and response with the aim of increasing access to accurate and relevant information. The network strives to foster a community of collaborative sharing on topics related to health emergency preparedness and response, as well as the intersection between faith and public health. WHO Faith Network was formalized in early 2022 with over 50 partners representing a diversity of faiths including service providers, faith leaders, faith-based organizations (FBOs), and academic institutions.