In a major policy speech today at the Center for Global Development, Administrator Samantha Power presented a strategic approach for reclaiming and accelerating public health progress around the world. Immediate global action is needed to reverse the staggering decline in global life expectancy and to support health systems weakened by COVID-19, the global food crisis, ongoing conflicts, and a changing climate.
USAID’s global health approach will unite around three foundational efforts:
Turn COVID-19 into a manageable respiratory illness everywhere.
In 2021, after President Biden committed to making the United States the “arsenal of vaccines” for the world, USAID managed the donation of more than 680 million COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 countries, helping to end the global supply shortage of doses. In her remarks today, Administrator Power called for transitioning COVID-19 prevention and treatment into routine care and pledged that USAID will continue to work with countries on vaccine availability and the availability of antivirals.
Build up our defenses against new outbreaks and future pandemic threats.
Administrator Power called for the global community to build the world’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to all infectious disease outbreaks. USAID today is launching a global health emergency response system to coordinate action around outbreak- and non-outbreak health emergencies. This response management system enhances the Agency’s capacity for rapid and effective responses to health crises, to surge funding and staff to where they are most needed. These crisis response tools, based on lessons from recent outbreak responses, will strengthen the Agency’s coordination, communication, and cooperation to better respond to multiple critical health emergencies at once.
Investing in primary health care workers who will be the backbone of health system recovery.
By 2030, there is an expected global shortage of 10 million global health care workers – with 50 percent of the shortage in Africa. Administrator Power highlighted a new initiative called Primary Impact that will initially support seven countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Indonesia, and the Philippines – in this critical effort. USAID will work with local governments to identify the most pressing needs in their primary care systems, and will then help fill investment gaps in coordination with the World Bank and other funding partners to help countries meet these pressing public health needs. Research shows scaling up affordable primary health care by 2030 could save 60 million lives globally, build more sustainable and efficient health systems, and increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years.