Currently, the high cost of health care around the world leads to around 8.6 million deaths per year, and pushes 100 million people into poverty. The UK has just signed a political declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The next year provides a unique opportunity to put these words into action.
The UK should be proud of its pledge of £1.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in June this year, which will help save 2 million lives. This is a great sign of the Government’s commitment to funding vital global health programmes.
The Global Fund is just one of a number of global health funds that need more financial resources over the next year. In November, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) will also need replenishing, to help end polio for good. The UK should invest £400 million in GPEI to help make this vision a reality.
Founded in 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has helped to immunise more than 690 million children and has prevented more than 10 million deaths. Gavi will also need replenishing in 2020, to help ensure that every child receives the 11 essential vaccinations recommended by the World Health Organisation to protect them against easily preventable diseases.
Since 2013, the UK has also been a leader in the fight against malnutrition. Funding for the ‘Nutrition for Growth' agenda runs out in 2020, and needs significant support from donors. A ‘pledging event’ just before the Tokyo Olympics next summer will be a great chance for the UK to continue its global leadership on fighting malnutrition.
This month, as the replenishment of GPEI approaches, and as Ministers and civil servants plan for the funding moments in 2020, please write to Secretary of State Alok Sharma MP, asking him to support all these health initiatives.