Council of the European Union adopts ambitious MDG agenda for action!18 June 2008
The EU is planning to contribute to 75 million more bednets in Africa, through additional funding for national plans, including through International Health Partnership and in the framework of the “Providing for Health Initiative”. The EU will also further support the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as UNITAID.
Although this is a fantastic result it needs to be ensured that the EC and the Member States implement their commitments. A lot still remains to be done! To read the Council document entitled The EU as a global partner for pro-poor and pro-growth development: EU Agenda for Action on MDGs, click here. The text was adopted by a written procedure that was completed on Wednesday 18 June 2008.
Below are extracts from the document in relation to Health:
Given poor progress overall towards these targets, the EU will urgently support the attainment of the target set in 2005 regarding universal access to reproductive health as well as 2010 milestones to save 4 million more children's lives each year, 2 million of which in Africa; and to have 35 million more births attended by skilled health personnel each year, 13 million of which in Africa. If we want to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015, it means that 21 million more births will have to be attended by skilled health personnel each year by 2010. Furthermore, the EU will provide support to reach the target of 50 million more women in Africa with modern contraceptives by 2010, and more generally to have access to family planning. The EU will wish to play a substantial role in helping to bridge the financing gap estimated at € 13,4 billion by 20104 based on the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health's target adjusted for national government contribution. On this basis, the Commission estimates that if the EU proportion of aid flow remained constant at 60% (which implies a scaling-up of aid by other donors), and the related share of the sector remained, this would mean the EU would increase its support by € 8 billion by 2010, of which almost €6 billion would be for Africa.
This level of increased investment by the EU in this sector would be expected to contribute to the provision of some 75 million more bednets in Africa, to additional funding for national plans, including through International Health Partnership and in the framework of the “Providing for Health Initiative”.
In addition, the increased investment would be expected to contribute to the scaling up and empowerment of the health workforce, the development of sustainable financing health systems, including social protection in health, an increased coverage of Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses programmes and support country effort to reach universal coverage with effective interventions to control malaria. This additional EU investment would also contribute to get as close as possible to the universal and free access to HIV/AIDS prevention, mitigation and treatment by 2010. The EU would also further support the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as UNITAID. Partner country ownership of tackling health challenges remains critical if EU support on health is to achieve the desired results.
4 This is based on an estimation of the total investment needed based on the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health's target of a minimum spend of € 34 per person, and then deducting the potential additional investment by national governments based on the Abuja target of 15% of the national budget being allocated to health.