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World Bank and Global Fund: Stronger Collaboration to Tackle the Impact of Climate Change on Health

Mr. Ajay Banga, World Bank President

The World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (the Global Fund) today signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining how the two organizations will work together to strengthen health systems in countries of the Global South. The goal is to support more efficient, effective, and sustainable financing to improve health outcomes in the face of climate change. Latest estimates show that more than half of the global population is not fully covered by essential health services and the climate crisis will only increase the demand for effective services, especially for the most vulnerable people.

“We cannot make adequate progress on public health while rising temperatures change the patterns of infectious diseases and breed pandemics,” said World Bank President Ajay Banga. “Our only option is to respond aggressively, simultaneously, and comprehensively. This partnership with the Global Fund is another step forward in our effort to recruit partners and build the coalition that is needed to deliver impact.”

Specifically, the two organizations will work together on climate and health priorities to reduce the burden of malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis (TB) through stronger health systems, including better access to primary healthcare services for the most vulnerable populations. The World Bank estimates that 132 million people may be forced into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change; one-third are the result of climate-related health risks disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people.

“To stand a chance at achieving the targets of ending AIDS, TB and malaria, we must redouble our efforts to fight these diseases. That includes investing to build health systems that can withstand the effects of climate change,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “With malaria serving as an early tracer of the impact of climate on health, we need intensive interventions and strong partnerships to reverse the negative impact of climate change on health.”

Importantly, the two organizations will also advocate for increased financing for health and building country capacity for more efficient and sustainable financing across health systems, including for HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. The goal is to make better use of scarce domestic and international health resources, including through better public finance management in countries. The two organizations will also use various financing modalities, including joint investments and blended finance, and collaborate on joint investments.

Another area of joint focus will be on strengthening the regional production and procurement of health supplies, including drugs and medical devices. Access to essential health supplies is necessary to ensure preparedness and strong and resilient health systems. The organizations will help localize health supply chains by supporting sustainable manufacturing in Africa and low- and middle-income countries.

Since 2017, the World Bank and the Global Fund have supported many countries by investing with blended finance transactions. For example, a loan buydown in India helped increase financing for TB care and prevention. In Indonesia, innovative buydown funding was linked to improved detection of TB cases, better treatment coverage, and reforms in provider payments to incentivize primary care. In Haiti, co-financing increased the use of primary healthcare services and strengthened disease surveillance. And in The Gambia, direct co-financing supported strengthened health systems for HIV/AIDS and TB.

About the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

The Global Fund is a worldwide partnership to defeat HIV, TB and malaria and ensure a healthier, safer, more equitable future for all. We raise and invest more than US$5 billion a year to fight the deadliest infectious diseases, challenge the injustice that fuels them, and strengthen health systems and pandemic preparedness in more than 100 of the hardest hit countries. We unite world leaders, communities, civil society, health workers and the private sector to find solutions that have the most impact, and we take them to scale worldwide. Since 2002, the Global Fund partnership has saved 59 million lives.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group has a bold vision: to create a world free of poverty on a livable planet. In more than 100 countries, the World Bank Group provides financing, advice, and innovative solutions that improve lives by creating jobs, strengthening economic growth, and confronting the most urgent global development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It consists of the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.

About the author

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa is the Managing Editor of Maslow Businessnews and Physicians News publications published by Maslow Business News Publications, Lagos, Nigeria.

Joseph Oputa is a proud Alumnus of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

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