A few months on from the Global Financing Facility’s (GFF) Oslo replenishment, where more than US$1 billion was raised to improve the health and nutrition of mothers, adolescents, children and newborns, the GFF has confirmed its planned expansion to a total of 50 countries. We endorse the GFF’s efforts to support these countries, all of which face major challenges to deliver on universal health coverage and the 2030 agenda.
However, as we set out in our 2018 briefings An Opportunity to Get It Right and Tick Tax, unless the GFF enacts some key reforms, it will fall short of its significant potential. One example is to mandate the publication of country health financing strategies alongside investment cases to ensure that countries have in place the pillars to raise sustainable domestic revenue.
Today the GFF Investors Group convenes for its 8th meeting, where the Secretariat plans to launch a new wave of countries. This expansion is the perfect opportunity for the GFF to implement some critical reforms to optimise the new countries’ investment cases and thereby ensure that the mechanism maximises its impact on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (SRMNCAH+N) outcomes.
Therefore, we call on the GFF to:
- do more to assist governments to generate more, sustainable domestic resources for their health systems.
In particular, we’re calling on the GFF to increase its grants for domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) – through, for example, tax reforms for the social sectors and social health insurance schemes. The GFF must require governments to uphold pro-poor DRM principles – such as increased capacity, simplicity, equity, transparency and inclusivity.
This drive to increase DRM needs to be underpinned by accountable health financing strategies and fully costed national health and nutrition plans.
The UK Department for International Development plans to set up a technical advisory group for DRM. We welcome the GFF’s commitment to work with DFID on that.
- provide greater financial support for civil society to play a full and effective accountability role.
In addition, health financing strategies, budgets and plans must be transparent to allow civil society to perform this role effectively.
We’re also calling on the GFF to protect recipient countries from bad or unsustainable debt. And to continue to ensure that the services and activities it supports promote universal access to the comprehensive SRMNCAH+N, principally through primary healthcare.
We affirm our commitment to Every Woman Every Child. We will continue to support national GFF efforts to ensure the best outcomes, particularly for the most deprived and marginalized children and families.