Press Release

Netherlands Announces Additional Support for the GFF to Continue Essential Health Services in COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON, DC – The Government of the Netherlands announced it is contributing 10 million euros (US$11.24 million) to the Global Financing Facility (GFF) to help low- and lower-middle-income countries ensure continuation of essential health and nutrition services for women, children and adolescents as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new contribution will enable the GFF to provide rapid support to countries to redesign health service delivery approaches to protect critical care, keep frontline health workers safe, and to ramp up risk communications and community engagement during the crisis.

“The global response to COVID-19 cannot come at the expense of basic health services for women, children and adolescents that save millions of lives every year. We must ensure that the act of giving life does not cost women their own lives. The GFF has a critical role to play to help ensure vulnerable and marginalized women and their families can still access the health care they need during this pandemic. As we ramp up our collective response to mitigate the coronavirus crisis, we need to build stronger health systems to ensure the progress made over past decades in maternal and child health is not reversed over the course of a few months,” said Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands.

“We are grateful for this additional support from the Government of the Netherlands, which will enable the GFF to rapidly step up support to our partner countries so that vulnerable women and girls can continue to access family planning, safe births and other essential primary health services during this global health crisis,” said Muhammad Ali Pate, Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group and Director, GFF.

Since joining the GFF in December 2018, the Government of the Netherlands has invested US$66.48 million in the partnership to accelerate progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights. This additional support brings The Netherlands’ total contribution to the GFF to date to US$77.72 million.

About the Global Financing Facility and the Investors Group

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) is a multi-stakeholder partnership helping countries tackle the greatest health and nutrition issues affecting women, children and adolescents. The GFF brings partners together around a country-led plan, prioritizing high-impact but underinvested areas of health. Contributors to the GFF Trust Fund include the Governments of Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, and the United Kingdom; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Susan T. Buffett Foundation; the European Commission; Laerdal Global Health; MSD for Mothers and the Rockefeller Foundation. To support the GFF’s work at the country level, these and other partners that are part of the GFF—including representatives of other governments, civil society organizations, WHO and other UN agencies, Gavi, Global Fund and private sector organizations—come together regularly as members the GFF Investors Group to discuss progress and collaboration. The GFF Trust Fund acts as a catalyst for financing, linking to the World Bank’s IDA and IBRD financing, aligned external financing, and private sector resources. Each GFF investment is multiplied by countries’ own commitments—generating a large return on investment, ultimately saving and improving lives.

Media Contact: Nansia Constantinou, Global Financing Facility, +1 (202) 458-5008,