Through a partnership program signed today by Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros, the EU will invest an additional €125 million to strengthen health systems, specifically to help extend universal health coverage.
The partnership is a key deliverable of the European Commission’s new EU Global Health Strategy, which was adopted today.
Indeed, one of the Strategy’s three key priorities is to strengthen health systems and advance universal health coverage globally.
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “In line with Global Gateway and its health component the new Global Health Strategy which we are launching today, the EU continues to develop and strengthen meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships for health.
I am delighted to sign today with Dr. Tedros a new contribution of €125 million EU contribution for the period 2023–2027 to our Universal Health Coverage Partnership with the World Health Organization.
As COVID-19 dramatically highlighted, resilient health systems and equitable access to health care are key to ensuring individual well-being and identifying and managing public health threats effectively.”
“Health is a fundamental human right, and universal health coverage is critical for achieving that right,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating evidence that UHC is the foundation to resilience and sustainable development for all.
That’s true for individuals and families confronting a life-threatening illness, and it’s true for countries—and the whole world—in the face of epidemics and pandemics. I am grateful to the European Union for its strong leadership and longstanding commitment to helping the world achieve UHC.”
The devastating social and economic consequences of public health epidemics and pandemics highlight the importance of investing in universal health coverage (UHC): ensuring that all people have access to quality health services when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
In 2011, the Commission launched the UHC Partnership to enable WHO to promote universal health coverage at the country level by strengthening health systems.
While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress, universal health coverage has improved in all Partnership countries. Since 2011, the Commission has invested approximately €200 million in the UHC Partnership.
The Partnership contributed to an increase in global average coverage of essential health services from 58% in 2011 to nearly 68% in 2019.
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