Alcohol Use Disorders (130) WHO Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030 (2) SAFER Initiative

7 March, 2024

Dear Eduardo,

Thank you for sharing the outline of the WHO Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030, and the URL for the full text:

I note 'The World Health Organization Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022–2030 was endorsed by the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly in May 2022 to effectively implement the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol as a public health priority. You can download a pre-print copy of the final action plan. The final printed version is expected medio August.' (presumably August 2022 or 2023?)

The URL above is to a pre-print version. Is there a final version available?

Dissemination and uptake of the final version of a plan would be important to accelerate progress on the indicators.

As said above, Member States have endorsed the plan. To what extent are Member States adopting it, and how is it being used to inform national policy?

The Plan appears to be based on an earlier Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010.

The Plan makes several references to the SAFER initiative, which you highlighted in a separate message:

STRENGTHEN restrictions on alcohol availability

ADVANCE and enforce drink-driving countermeasures

FACILITATE access to screening, brief interventions and treatment

ENFORCE bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion

RAISE prices on alcohol through excise taxes and other pricing policies

I have not been able to study the Action Plan in detail, but I note that it uses a different approach:

1: Implementation of high-impact strategies and interventions

2: Advocacy, awareness and commitment

3: Partnership, dialogue and coordination

4: Technical support and capacity building

5: Knowledge production and information systems

6: Resource mobilization

I'd be interested to hear how the Strategy (2010), SAFER (2019) and Global Alcohol Action Plan (2023) are being used by Member States, particularly to inform evidence-based policy.

We have learned previously on HIFA that much policymaking is not evidence-informed, due to lots of reasons including sociocultural influences. The latter are perhaps especially important in the case of alcohol policy. Alcohol policy is also highly vulnerable to influence by the alcohol industry in many (most?) countries.

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: