We as the heads of our respective institutions the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), in close cooperation with the European Commission (EC) and the African Union, are delighted to announce a strong partnership aimed at mobilizing one billion euro of investment to support countries in closing the health funding gap, building resilient health systems based on a solid foundation of Primary Health Care (PHC), to help them reach the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
That means restoring, expanding and sustaining access to essential health services and increasing financial risk protection; access to vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, devices and other health products; scaling innovative primary health care service delivery models and investing in a health workforce to deliver effective quality care.
This will be advanced by a powerful EC, EIB and WHO trilateral alliance built on the partners’ commitment to complement each other’s strengths.
The shared goals of the partnership will be achieved by applying a country-led and country-driven approach, identifying gaps in national health systems, designing strategies for interventions and their corresponding investments plans, investing in health system projects and programmes, convening capital providers, supporting implementation and monitoring impact.
To initiate this partnership, the European Investment Bank will make available at least €500 million to support health systems strengthening and more specifically primary health care in Sub-Saharan African countries. This aims to mobilize at least €1 billion of investments, structured in co-operation with the EC and WHO, to support this initiative.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration that when health is at risk, everything is at risk. Investing in health across Africa is therefore essential not just to promote and protect health, but also as a foundation for lifting people out of poverty and driving inclusive economic growth. WHO is pleased to join forces with African partners, the European Investment Bank and the EU to marry this significant investment with WHO’s experience and know-how to build resilient health systems, and a healthier, safer, fairer future for Africa,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
“The partnership between the EIB and WHO is central to our response to the pandemic outside the EU, as part of Team Europe. Since the start of the pandemic the EIB has scaled up support for health investment, vaccine production and economic resilience across Africa and around the world. Today, we are pleased to confirm that the EIB will make available € 500 million with the aim to mobilize € 1 billion of new investment to strengthen public health across Africa.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.
As the world recovers and rebuilds from the pandemic, the importance and urgency ofpromoting impactful, sustainable and equitable investments in health has become starkly clear. Fulfilling this goal requires active collaboration between key global stakeholders.
On Sunday, European Investment Bank (EIB) President Hoyer attended the opening ceremony of the new EIB Representation for the West Bank and Gaza. During the event, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for the occupied Palestinian territory Dr. Richard Peeperkorn and EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti confirmed the successful ongoing implementation of the first two technical assistance assignments conducted under the global EIB-WHO partnership for health. The EIB is supporting the WHO to assist the Ministry of Health in assessing and reshaping the national primary healthcare and oncology services strategies. The support will lead to improved prioritisation and increased investment in health in Palestine.
The World Health Organization and the EIB will boost cooperation to strengthen public health, supply of essential equipment, training and hygiene investment in countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.