Health Agencies Launch Plan for Cooperation on SDG Targets
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Twelve multilateral agencies have launched a global action plan detailing how they will cooperate to provide support to countries to achieve health-related aspects of the SDGs.

The plan is relevant not only to SDG 3 on health, but also to SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reducing inequalities.

The ten-year plan, titled ‘Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All,’ was launched at a UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

24 September 2019: Twelve multilateral agencies have launched a ten-year global action plan detailing how they will jointly support countries to achieve health-related aspects of the SDGs. The plan is relevant not only to SDG 3 on health, but also to SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reducing inequalities.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its global monitoring report on UHC, predicts that up to five billion of the world’s population will still not have access to essential health services by 2030.

The plan titled, ‘Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All,’ was launched during the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which took place on 23 September 2019, in New York, US. Speakers at the launch event noted that UHC is key to achieving health targets throughout the 2030 Agenda.

The 12 agencies will harmonize their systems to reduce the administrative burden on countries receiving support.

The Plan outlines cooperation among several UN agencies: UNAIDS, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, the World Food Programme (WFP) and WHO. Others involved are: GAVI, the vaccine alliance; Unitaid, a global health initiative to prevent, diagnose and treat major diseases in low- and middle-income countries; the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the World Bank Group.

The 12 agencies’ cooperation will focus on seven “accelerator themes” primary health care; sustainable health financing; community and civil society engagement; determinants of health; innovative programming in fragile and vulnerable settings and for disease outbreak responses; research and development, innovation and access; and data and digital health. They also agree to harmonize their systems to reduce the administrative burden on countries receiving support from them, and to review progress together.

The plan, coordinated by WHO, was developed over an 18-month period. Germany, Ghana and Norway had called for improving coordination and efficiency among global health organizations. Together, the 12 agencies account for almost one-third of all development assistance for health.

Among the heads of agencies welcoming the plan, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, expressed confidence that the Global Action Plan will serve as a roadmap for collective action, so that more women and girls will be able to exercise informed decision-making and control over their bodies, and live their lives free from violence by 2030.

The plan was launched on the same day that the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC adopted a historic declaration on ensuring that everyone has access to essential health services without experiencing financial hardship. [Global Action Plan]


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