The Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol was adopted by consensus at the annual assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday 20 May. According to news agency Reuters health ministers agreed to try to curb binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations.
The WHO estimates that risks linked to alcohol cause 2.5 million deaths a year from heart and liver disease, road accidents, suicides and various cancers 3.8 percent of all deaths. It is the third leading risk factor for premature deaths and disabilities worldwide.
Alcohol is usually not perceived as a killer, though it is, Shekhar Saxena, director of WHOs Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, told a news briefing.
Despite growing abuse and youth drinking at an earlier age in many countries, half of WHO members do not have a national alcohol policy, according to WHO expert Vladimir Poznyak.
The biggest changes might happen in those countries which have no alcohol control institutions or regulatory framework for alcohol consumption, he told Reuters.
Alcohol Policy – A Development Issue
The Norwegian Campaign for Development and Solidarity (FORUT) points to the fact that alcohol constitutes a double-sided problem in the developing world. On the one hand, drinking is in many places a severe and additional burden to the poor and underprivileged. On the other hand, we also see that new drinking habits, increasing consumption levels, and rising problems occur among a growing middle class in a number of countries. Planned and evidence-based strategies is the best way to prevent new problems from arising, and the new WHO Strategy points at many effective alternative actions for governments as well as for NGOs, says Morten Lønstad of FORUT.
The topic of the training will be:
How to lobby on national level for an effective alcohol marketing policy
For more information or registration contact