As the world faces multiple interconnected crises—in health, environment and security—the collective global commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ is more important than ever.
The lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming increasingly obvious: the record pace set in the R&D of the multiple COVID-19 vaccines was not accompanied by structures and frameworks to enable timely and equitable access in all countries. This understanding is critical for the design of an improved response to COVID-19 and to prevent future pandemics.
The continuing partnership between the GHIT Fund and the UNDP-led ADP is well positioned to respond. The strategic aim of the partnership has long aimed at an integrated approach that links accelerated R&D and product development with capacity support on the ground to ensure access and delivery to those in need. ADP’s focus on strengthening institutional and technical capacities of national health systems and supporting national responses to COVID-19 and other outbreaks and pandemics are, in fact, two sides of the same coin: each drives access to and delivery of affordable and quality-assured health technologies towards the achievement of UHC and progress towards human security.
It is vital that national health systems are enabled to provide continued essential services for the population even during a crisis. A well-functioning health system remains the strongest enabler of UHC, and a critical means of reducing inequalities. Put simply, the measures taken now to strengthen overall health systems resilience, including through ADP’s work, will contribute towards sustainable human development. This aligns with the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022–2025 and the UNDP HIV and Health Strategy 2022–2025, both of which acknowledge the need to build resilient and sustainable health systems as the foundation for achieving the mutually reinforcing goals of health, sustainable development and human security.
The lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely remain centre stage. The pandemic put health systems under tremendous stress, reiterating the underlying need for enhanced capacities to perform essential health functions.
The ADP’s focus on strengthening health systems to ensure enhanced access to and delivery of new health technologies is more critical today than ever. Underpinning ADP’s strategic focus in the future will be:
“We must not ignore the important lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic: strengthened capacities to access and deliver new health technologies are equally important as advances in R&D and product development to driving effective and sustainable responses to public health priorities—from the COVID-19 pandemic to maintenance of essential health services. This validates the Government of Japan’s support for both the GHIT Fund and for ADP, as interlinked and complementary projects; investing in R&D alongside health systems-strengthening ensures greater on-the-ground impacts.
We hope that a new phase of the GHIT Fund and ADP partnership—building on the 10 years of results and achievements—will continue to amplify the strategy of integrating innovation, access and delivery of health technologies, with the goal of achieving universal health coverage and human security.”