AFRICA – The African Union has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to mobilize € 1 billion (US$ 1.14 billion) for stronger and more resilient health systems in the region.

The investment aims at building resilient health systems based on a solid foundation of Primary Health Care (PHC) to help African countries reach the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The 17 SDGs are integrated to recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others and development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The Global Goals encourage social mobilization, spur networks of expertise, knowledge and practice into action as well as mobilizing stakeholder networks across countries, sectors and regions to come together for a common purpose.

Investing in health across Africa is essential not only to promote and protect health but also as a foundation for lifting people out of poverty and driving inclusive economic growth.

According to the EIB press statement, the investment will be advanced by a powerful European Commission, EIB and WHO trilateral alliance built on the partners’ commitment to complement each other’s strengths.

The heads of the respective institutions announced a strong partnership aimed at mobilizing € 1 billion (US$ 879,813,128) investment to support African countries in closing their health funding gap.

To initiate the partnership, the European Investment Bank will make available at least €500 million (US$ 568,302,500) to support health systems strengthening and more specifically PHC in Sub-Saharan African countries,” the statement outlined.

The funding will help restore, expand and sustain access to essential health services as well as increase financial risk protection.

It will enhance access to vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, devices and other health products including scaling innovative primary health care service delivery models and investing in a health workforce to deliver effective quality care,” the statement further read.

The shared goals of the partnership will be achieved by applying a country-led and country-driven approach, identifying gaps in national health systems along with designing strategies for interventions and their corresponding investments plans.

Also, investing in health system projects and programmes, convening capital providers along with supporting implementation and monitoring impact.

Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration that when health is at risk, everything is at risk.

WHO is pleased to join forces with the European Investment Bank and the EU to marry this significant investment with WHO’s experience and know-how to build resilient health systems as well as a healthier, safer and fairer future for Africa,” said Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

The partnership between the EIB and WHO is central to the COVID-19 response outside the EU with Africa 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.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE