Healthcare and development are more connected than ever, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how to fight pandemics, and promote access to healthcare around the world

Good healthcare is essential to the reduction of poverty, meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals , and helping communities prosper. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how poor and unequal access to healthcare is in many countries, and that there is a lack of financing for the sector . Inadequate healthcare harms the economy, gender equality, nutrition, the environment, and education.

The European Investment Bank is fighting the pandemic and promoting health by providing high levels of financial support to government health systems, hospitals, and biotech companies, as well as backing many areas of research and development. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU bank has provided nearly €60 billion to fight the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, much of it to low-income countries outside the European Union. That includes our €1 billion financing for the Institute Pasteur in Senegal, which aims to develop a COVID-19 vaccine capability for Africa, and a €200 million loan for medical supplies, and training to reinforce the health system in Morocco .

The European Investment Bank is working closely with the European Commission and other institutions to create and deploy financial tools that foster research, support the whole life sciences sector and make sure we’re better prepared for the next pandemic.

“Health will remain a crucial priority for the global society and EIB beyond the pandemic,” says Dana Burduja, a senior European Investment Bank health economist. “The European Investment Bank has learnt important lessons from the past two years about helping societies be better prepared for future health emergencies, preventing more people getting sick, caring better for those who do get sick, creating better vaccines and treatments, and responding faster to crises.”