Interview with H.E. Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Global Financing Facility

How is the GFF helping the DRC achieve health and broader development goals?

First, the most important element in achieving health-related and development-related goals is precisely to try and achieve universal health coverage to improve people’s access to affordable quality care. The advantage of the GFF is that it allows us to first determine what are the priority regions and, within those regions, what are the priority actions, which must be undertaken to change health indicators. Clearly, the priority to improve global health indicators is to improve the health of mothers, children, and adolescents as well as reproductive health. Another important element for the achievement of results is the alignment of all health sector stakeholders with the government's vision. All participating stakeholders must pool resources, and these resources must be aligned to focus on the priority actions identified to change health indicators.

What would you say is the most important thing the GFF has contributed in the DRC?

The GFF’s main contribution in DRC is precisely the alignment of all the partners, with the creation of a unified contract. This unified contract endeavors to pool all stakeholders at province level to try and implement the government's plan/the government's vision. It hence is an element which helps accelerate both the implementation of the government's plan and aligns everyone with a single plan, a single budget, a single report as well as with a single measurement and evaluation tool.

Why would you encourage donor countries to invest in the GFF?

For donors, the most important thing is to tell them that, whatever they want to invest in, it should contribute to improving the population’s health.  It is really time to overcome fragmentation. If we want to use available resources well, we must align to create more synergies and create more efficiencies in what we do.  The money given must have a greater impact, greater results.  I think the GFF is a good channel, a good way to get there.

What can the GFF offer to countries that are not currently GFF countries?

Countries that are not yet in the GFF field face issues linked to the fragmentation of resources and the fragmentation among stakeholders. To create alignment and increase efficiency, they must try a global investment framework, such as the GFF’s.

Anything else that you would like to add?

I would like to add that, in my opinion, the GFF is the first step towards universal health coverage. And, of course, the population groups which will benefit the most from it are mothers, children and adolescents.