During the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, USAID joined with the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a multi donor trust fund at the World Bank, to reaffirm our strategic partnership and announce an agreement to enhance country and global efforts to create resilient, responsive, and sustainably financed primary health care (PHC) systems and health work forces. The initial USAID investment of $4 million to the GFF establishes a trust fund focused on strengthening PHC systems capable of effectively delivering outbreak and pandemic response services in GFF partner countries. This includes enabling health workforces that are better able to prevent, prepare for, detect, and respond to global health threats.
The COVID-19 pandemic strained healthcare systems, leading to delays in non-COVID care, particularly affecting the health of women, children, and adolescents. Globally, communities are still grappling with the aftermath of COVID-19 and other health emergencies, including shortages of healthcare workers, with 84 percent of countries reporting ongoing disruptions in essential services. According to some estimates, the indirect effects of COVID-19 on health services increased maternal mortality by over 33 percent and child mortality by nearly 50 percent in low- and middle-income countries.
The GFF is a multi-stakeholder global partnership that is committed to ensuring all women, children and adolescents can survive and thrive. Launched in July 2015, the GFF supports 36 low and lower-middle income countries with catalytic financing and technical assistance to develop and implement prioritized national health plans to scale up access to affordable, quality care for women, children and adolescents. The GFF also works with countries to maximize the use of domestic financing and external support for better, more sustainable health results.
This partnership between USAID and the GFF will contribute to enhancing government capacities to leverage support across partners, align investments around national priorities, and strengthen epidemic-ready PHC systems. USAID values this opportunity to partner with the GFF to strengthen PHC as key to restoring health services and getting global survival rates to better than pre-pandemic levels by 2025 – especially for children under five and women under 50 – and building health system resiliency for the future.