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Joint UNITE-GHA Webinar “COVID-19: Are the SDGs at risk? Rethinking global health financing” | May 18, 2020

18. May 2020 | 16:00 - 17:15 CEST

As a network of non-state actors working in Global Health, the Global Health Hub Germany aims at aiding the dissemination of information and facilitating the exchange amongst actors with regards to their work, commitment and expertise as it relates to COVID-19. The Hub is therefore launching a series of discussions on COVID-19, which will look at the challenges that the pandemic is posing for Global Health from different angles and will discuss possible solutions. The webinars will be linked by their global perspective.

The Global Health Hub Germany kindly invites you to join us for our first Webinar of the new Discussion Series on COVID-19 on Monday, May 18th from 4 – 5 pm discussing the topic “COVID-19: Are the SDGs at risk? Rethinking global health financing”.

The webinar will be hosted by two members of the Interim-Steering Committee of the GHHG, Prof. Dr. Andrew Ullmann, Member of Parliament, and Roland Göhde, Chairman of the Board at German Health Alliance. They will discuss the topic of global health financing with the two speakers Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite, Member of Parliament in Portugal and Founder and President of UNITE – Global Parliamentarians Network to end HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases, as well as Vice-President of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and Dessislava Dimitrova,Head of Healthcare Transformation at the World Economic Forum and former Deputy Minister of Health and chair of the National Health Insurance Fund in Bulgaria.

Prior to the coronavirus epidemic, many emerging economies were facing severe debt challenges. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) characterized approximately half of all low-income countries as heavily indebted. Combined with current suboptimal market conditions and a drop in commodity prices, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to also trigger an international economic fallout across the developing world. Yet, this economic emergency will not be resolved until the health crisis is effectively addressed, and as long as established mechanisms remain inactive in aiding countries with the greatest need.

In the wake of the Ebola epidemic, the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) was launched by the WHO and the World Bank to provide additional financing to the world’s poorest countries to fight a disease outbreaks. The PEF exists to provide rapid financial stimulus by bringing the private and public sectors together. Yet, the complicated set of activation criteria (like outbreak size, growth rate, deadlines) and competing interests of the two sectors proves insufficient for the complex situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although declared a PHEIC on January 30 and a pandemic on March 11, the PEF has not yet paid out a single dollar due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The newly established WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund, and its associated campaign elements, along with the WHO Contingency Fund are preventing the health emergency from spiraling out of control, but further financial support from the IMF would be needed in order to support countries with already fewer resources to fight the pandemic. Unless new ways of financing global health will be found, the world is at risk.

The webinar will be in English.

You can enter the Webinar here, if you have Microsoft Teams.

If you don’t have Microsoft Teams you can enter the webinar via the MS Teams web application using the same link.

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18. May 2020
16:00 - 17:15 CEST
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Global Health Hub Germany
+49 30 5900 20 210
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