The director-general of the WHO stressed that all roads should lead to universal healthcare.
Rabat – Prompted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are taking new initiatives to support 10 African countries’ primary healthcare systems.
The collaboration between the UN’s primary health agency and the world’s largest international public bank is meant to establish long-term support for the countries. With the combination of the WHO’s health expertise and the EIB’s financial strength and innovation, vulnerable countries can look forward to strengthened efforts by the two organizations.
The agreement focuses on the health workforce, water, sanitation and hygiene, and infrastructure through the expansion of medical-related financing and securing of essential supplies.
The EIB and WHO have not yet released information regarding which countries will benefit from the agreement. In a virtual press conference, EIB President Werner Hoyer, president of the EIB told Morocco World News, “Together with the WHO, we will do that in the next couple of days.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, explained that one of the primary goals of their collaboration is to study market failures and discover how innovative financing could overcome investment barriers.
In addition to supporting primary health care emergencies, the WHO and EIB seek progress toward accelerating research and developments around antimicrobial treatment and resistance and making significant contributions to the EU malaria fund.
The EIB has already pledged €1.4 billion euros to address the health, social, and economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa.
“The world is facing unprecedented health, social and economic shocks from COVID-19,” said Hoyer. The European Investment Bank is pleased to join forces with the World Health Organization as a key part of Team Europe’s efforts to address the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The EU Bank’s new partnership with the WHO will help communities most at risk by scaling up local medical and public health efforts and better protect people around the world from future pandemics.”
In addition, he said, “This new cooperation will enable us to combat malaria, address antimicrobial resistance, and enhance public health in Africa more effectively,” said Hoyer.
The partners are hopeful that their collaboration will allow them to build resilience in the face of future public health threats, and ultimately, accelerating access to universal health coverage.
Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of universal healthcare, the latter saying, “All roads should lead to universal health coverage. Health for all.”