A Coherent COVID-19 Response: How the EU can continue its leadership in Global Health

Global Health Advocates (GHA) has published a policy note highlighting key concerns about EU development programming, particularly as it relates to the underfunding of global health. The EU and its Member States together make the world’s largest development aid donor, but the novel coronavirus (COVID) is now threatening to undermine vital development gains “Team Europe” has made, including steps made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 1 million people have already lost their lives – and the risks are particularly high for people living with HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, poliovirus and other non-communicable diseases. 

While we recognize the leadership role the EU has played in the global COVID-19 response, we urge the EU to maintain consistency between their “Team Europe” approach to COVID-19 and their programming process, by 

◊ meeting its commitments to move beyond an emergency response to
COVID by systemically considering human development as one of the
three key priority areas for all partner countries in EU programming

◊ reshuffling the allocations under NDICI and increase the budget line
for thematics, ensuring the “global challenges” subsection can meet all
of the EU’s commitments by funding it to at least €4.5 billion

◊ abiding by the EP report on the NDICI that recommended a maximum
of €10 billion budget line for guarantees, and ensuring the local private
sector takes priority

◊ ensuring transparency and accountability of EU programming by involving CSOs and local organisations, with a special focus on vulnerable
groups – especially LGBTQ+ communities, disabled people, women and
youth – in all levels of program-design and implementation

prioritizing health as both a stand-alone and cross-cutting consideration in any future EU-Africa partnership, emphasizing the need to go
beyond investment in Dx, Tx, and Vx to support local capacities and the
strengthening of health systems


Read the full policy note here

Policy Note_Prioritising global health in EU development programming