2018 is an important year for global health and nutrition. We have an historic opportunity to come together to end preventable deaths and improve the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents by 2030, as collectively agreed by governments in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.

Nearly three years into the SDGs, there is strong momentum towards universal health coverage with governments designing and implementing national plans to ensure that all people can survive and thrive.

Through the Global Financing Facility (GFF), we have a catalytic mechanism for financing health and nutrition. Countries are building and investing in their own health strategies, setting them on a path towards scaled and sustainable financing for national health. Multilateral and bilateral financing continue to play an important role in the GFF model, as does the engagement of civil society organizations and the private sector. What the GFF, through its Trust Fund, is able to do is catalyze country-driven financing for women, children and adolescents’ health and nutrition from several sources including international development finance, domestic resources, aligned bilateral funding and private sector capital, to fill a vast funding gap.

To end over 5 million preventable deaths of women and children in countries with the highest mortality burdens, an annual gap needs to be filled. Neither countries on their own, or one organization alone, is able to fill this funding gap. It requires strong partnerships and multisector platform. Bringing in different partners and financiers is therefore absolutely critical if we are serious about ending preventable deaths among the most vulnerable population groups by 2030.

2018 is a year in which we at the GFF are strengthening our contribution to the global health and nutrition architecture by doing what we do well: supporting countries to bring together stakeholders and catalyze funding, ensuring that governments are at the center of the process of delivering for and investing in their people. 

In December 2017, we welcomed two new partner donors to the GFF Trust Fund: the governments of Japan and Denmark. We have an exciting year ahead, and look forward to working together with our partners to ensure that 2018 is a successful year for global health and nutrition financing. We are keeping our focus on the goal to save up to 38 million lives of women and children by 2030 and look forward to engaging with you on this journey, and working together with you.