Here below is an organizational sign-on letter to G8 leaders calling for the $60 billion committed last year to AIDS, TB, malaria, and health system strengthening to be apportioned about the G8 countries to help make that commitment real, as well as for technical and financial support, through an agreed framework again apportioning responsibility among G8 countries, to support national health workforce plans designed to meet health goals. The Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative (read more
Here below is an organizational sign-on letter to G8 leaders calling for the $60 billion committed last year to AIDS, TB, malaria, and health system strengthening to be apportioned about the G8 countries to help make that commitment real, as well as for technical and financial support, through an agreed framework again apportioning responsibility among G8 countries, to support national health workforce plans designed to meet health goals. The Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative (http://www.healthworkforce.info/HWAI/Welcome.html), a civil society-led network affiliated with the Global Health Workforce Alliance, circulated this letter for signature last week at the First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Kampala, Uganda, where it received considerable support. We now seek supplementary organizational signatures to support this call. If your organization is able sign, please email Amanda Cary ([email protected]) with your organization’s name and country by Tuesday, March 18.
Dear Prime Minister Fukuda,
We are health workers, non-governmental organization representatives, people living with HIV/AIDS, global health leaders, government ministers, health professional association presidents, academics, and other citizens from around the globe who are committed to a healthier world. We recognize that the health workforce is central to achieving the human right to health, and [many of us] have gathered in Kampala, Uganda, for the First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, March 2-7, 2008. Our presence in Kampala symbolizes the global consensus on the need for unprecedented action to respond to the global health workforce crisis. Only then can the unconscionable level of death and disease in much of the developing world – such as the 1 in 16 chance lifetime risk that a woman in sub-Saharan Africa has of dying in childbirth – be overcome.
We write to you as the host of this year’s G8 summit. Japan has a recent history of supporting global health, including by launching the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria following the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan’s Okinawa Infectious Diseases Initiative, and more recently the Health and Development Initiative. At the half-way point towards MDG health commitment, many countries are falling far behind. Thus it is critical for the 2008 summit to become be a landmark in fulfilling commitments to global health.
In your World Economic Forum speech in January, you recognized the massive shortage of health workers. Sub-Saharan Africa needs an estimated 1.5 million new health workers. Inadequate human resources for health is a fundamental obstacle to scaling up of services to address HIV/AIDS, other infectious disease, and maternal and child death.
Therefore, we urge you to lead the G8 members this year to commit to fully meet their responsibilities under the Global Action Plan for Human Resources for Health adopted at this First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, including to provide predictable financing sufficient (combined with other sources) to enable national health workforce plans to be fully implemented; to ensure that international financial institutions relax macroeconomic constraints; to adhere to ethical recruitment practices and strive for self-sufficiency in their own health workforces; and to provide technical support. We too commit ourselves to meeting our collective responsibilities in the action agenda, since, as you have correctly noted, changing the current crisis cannot be shouldered by the G8 alone, but requires actions from all stakeholders.
To help implement the Global Action Plan for Human Resources for Health, you can lead the G8 to the historic step of turning joint past commitments an agreed framework of individual country action by G8 countries. In particular, at the 2007 G8 Summit, G8 countries committed to spend $60 billion in the coming years for AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and health system strengthening. We urge you to turn this pledge into concrete action. The first essential step is a G8 plan where the $60 billion is apportioned among each G8 country, pursuant to a timeline that is consistent with the pace and scale of investments required to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS services by 2010 and the MDG health goals. The 2008 G8 Summit should also fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at $6-8 billion annually. We urge you lead a G8 strategy to apportion funding for the G8 commitment by launching negotiations among the G8 countries and seeking to conclude such negotiations by the end of Japan’s G8 Presidency.
The 2008 G8 Summit should also ensure that countries can secure technical support to develop health sector strategies and national health workforce plans aimed at achieving the health-related MDGs, and that no sound strategy or plan should lack funding needed for full implementation. The G8 should develop a framework – such as that used for the $60 billion – to ensure that the G8 invests its fair share in these health workforce plans. We urge the G8 to begin to fund implementation at country level on an urgent basis, particularly in the countries that are furthest behind towards achieving the MDGs.
We look forward to a Hokkaido Summit that will help turn the ideal of human security that Japan has championed into reality for untold millions of people around the world, including through the commitments and concrete actions required to secure for every person, in every part of every country, access to skilled health workers who are equipped, motivated, and supported.
*To sign, please email the name of your organization and country to Amanda Cary at [email][email protected] no later than March 18.