Development Banks Unite to Increase Primary Health Care Financing – Health Policy Watch

French Health Minister François Braun (left) at an event to present the HIIP.

Three Multilateral Development Banks and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the launch of an investment platform on Thursday aimed at supporting low- and middle-income countries to build up their primary health services (PHC) via grants and soft loans.

PHC is widely recognized as the most effective way to improve health and well-being, and the recent World Health Assembly recognized it as the driver of universal health coverage, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Health Impact Investment Platform (HIIP), launched during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris, will provide LICs and LMICs with an initial $1.5 billion in concessional loans and grants to expand reach and reach of their PHC services.

The founding members of HIIP are the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the WHO. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is also considering joining this partnership, which would extend this initiative to Latin America and the Caribbean region.

About 90% of essential health services can be provided through the PHC – in the field, in the community, through health workers, doctors and nurses, in local clinics. The broad spectrum of services provided by the PHC can promote health and prevent disease, avoid and delay the need for more expensive secondary and tertiary services, and provide rehabilitation, said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the launch in Paris.

Dr Tedros and African Development Bank Group Chairman Dr Akinwumi Adesina

WHO will act as policy coordinator of the platforms, ensuring alignment of funding decisions with national health priorities and strategies. The HIIP Secretariat will support governments in developing national health care and prioritizing PHC investment plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown significant gaps in healthcare systems around the world, and this is especially true in primary health care, French Health Minister François Braun said at the launch.

Our world urgently needs a more coordinated financial approach, one that bridges the gap between the investment needs of the health system and the challenge of national funding.

European Investment Bank President Dr Werner Hoyer said the platform would ensure countries in need are better able to build resilient primary health services that can withstand the shocks of future health crises and safeguard communities and communities. economies for the future.

The platform will facilitate access to crucial international finance for the most vulnerable. It is a concrete result of President Macron’s call to increase international financial solidarity with the Global South, he added.

The president of the European Investment Bank, Dr. Werner Hoyer

The new platform builds on experience gained during the pandemic as countries partnered with multilateral organizations and development banks to strengthen their health systems.

For example, WHO, the EIB and the European Commission have worked closely with Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda to strengthen their health systems. These interventions have mobilized technical assistance, grants and investments on favorable terms to build PHCs.

Rwandan Prime Minister Douard Ngirente said his country has been working with several partners for more than a decade to build its PHC, resulting in improvements in life expectancy and other health indicators.

We believe in partnerships. You can’t build your health system on your own, Ngirente stressed.

African Development Bank group chairman Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the bank would work with countries individually to identify gaps in national health systems, design interventions and investment strategies, find finance, implement projects and monitor their performance. impact.

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