WHO and EIB strengthen efforts to combat COVID-19 and build resilient health systems to face future pandemics

May 04, 2020

- WHO and the European Investment Bank enhance cooperation to support countries in addressing the health impact of COVID-19

- The first phase will address urgent needs and strengthen primary health care in ten African countries

- Enhanced WHO-EIB partnership will scale up financing to assure the chain of essential supplies, including personal protective equipment, diagnostics and clinical management

- New initiative will accelerate investment in health preparedness and primary health care with a focus on health work force, infrastructure, and water, sanitation and hygiene

- The initiative involves measures to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance

The World Health Organization and the European Investment Bank will boost cooperation to strengthen public health, supply of essential equipment, training and hygiene investment in countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new partnership between the United Nations health agency and the world’s largest international public bank, announced at WHO headquarters in Geneva earlier today, will help increase resilience to reduce the health and social impact of future health emergencies.

"Combining the public health experience of the World Health Organization and the financial expertise of the European Investment Bank will contribute to a more effective response to COVID-19 and other pressing health challenges," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. 

"WHO looks forward to strengthening cooperation with the EIB to improve access to essential supplies including medical equipment and training, and deliver better water, sanitation and hygiene where most needed. New initiatives to improve primary health care in Africa and support the EU Malaria Fund hint at the potential impact of our new partnership,” Dr Tedros concluded.

“The world is facing unprecedented health, social and economic shocks from COVID-19. The European Investment Bank is pleased to join forces with the World Health Organization as a key part of Team Europe’s efforts to address the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU Bank’s new partnership with the WHO will help communities most at risk by scaling up local medical and public health efforts and better protect people around the world from future pandemics. This new cooperation will enable us to combat malaria, address anti-microbial resistance and enhance public health in Africa more effectively.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

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