March 26, 2021– Country and international partner representatives of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) gave their strong commitment for the GFF’s $1.2 billion resource mobilization campaign to support the world’s poorest countries to protect and “reclaim the gains” on the health of women, children and adolescents made before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GFF Investors Group (IG) and Trust Fund Committee (TFC)*, who met virtually for their bi-annual governance meetings this week, expressed their strong support for the GFF’s unique role in the global COVID-19 response—supporting partner countries to protect and promote essential health services and get back on track on progress made on women's children's and adolescent health. The $1.2 billion will help countries to save lives and build the human capital needed for a resilient recovery by strengthening the frontlines, reimagining service delivery and reforming health financing. With GFF support, partner countries are able to strengthen health systems for a more equitable rollout of COVID-19 tools and as they ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and other essential services, such as nutrition.

During the meetings, the GFF Secretariat shared data from a just released World Bank paper, From Double Shock to Double Recovery, examining the economic impact and health financing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways the GFF can help ensure essential health spending is protected. Updated analysis was also shared on the impact on essential health services as a result of COVID-19 and the implications for GFF partner countries, including looming threats that warrant urgent attention.

Country representatives, including Ministers of Health and Finance from Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Liberia, Tajikistan, and Rwanda shared their experiences and efforts to protect essential RMNCAH-N services and mitigate the impacts on women, children and adolescents.

Among key decisions and endorsements were:

  • Endorsement of the operational plan for the GFF strategy for 2021-2025, building on the strong results of the GFF’s first five years;
  • Acknowledgment of the devastating impacts on essential health services and available financing and consensus for joint action on this agenda;
  • Strong support for the resource mobilization campaign and agreement that partners will work collectively to ensure the GFF has the political and financial backing it needs to accelerate strategy implementation;
  • Approval on a first round of countries to receive additional GFF grant financing linked to World Bank IDA, specifically aimed at protecting and promoting essential health services and building more resilient health systems (pending World Bank Board approval), and in support of the Act-A Health Systems Connector.
  • Agreement to work toward the co-creation of a working group on country level partner alignment in complementarity and synergies with existing alignment efforts including through the SDG Global Action Plan.

The Investors Group Meeting was co-chaired by Joshua Tabah, and Director General for Global Health, Global Affairs Canada and Hon Dr.Lia Tadesse Minister of Health, Ethiopia. The Trust Fund Committee was chaired by World Bank Vice President for Human Development, Mamta Murthi.

This marked the first meeting with Dr.Tadesse in her role as IG co-chair, following the strong endorsement of Investors Group members. Together with Mr. Tabah, Hon. Dr. Tadesse will help foster effective communication and engagement with stakeholders and ensure alignment of the GFF’s vision and help facilitate discussions to implement GFF’s priorities, as the GFF doubles down on its commitment to help countries transform the lives of women, children and adolescents.

Additional resources:

Resource mobilization campaign: Reclaim the Gains

Twelfth Investors Group Meeting: Presentations and background papers

Statement: Civil Society and Youth Statement on the GFF Resource Mobilization Effort

* The broad set of partners that comprise the GFF—including governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, UN agencies, Gavi, and the Global Fund and private foundations—come together regularly at the global level through the GFF Investors Group (IG). The IG plays a key role in supporting and fostering alignment and coherence at country level for the GFF partnership. The GFF Trust Fund is governed by the Trust Fund Committee (TFC), which comprises representatives of the World Bank and donors that contribute to the GFF Trust Fund. The TFC is the main decision-making body of the GFF Trust Fund and its responsibilities include deciding which countries are eligible as recipients of the GFF Trust Fund and defining the funding approaches that guide the support of the GFF Trust Fund to countries. The TFC draws advice from the Investors Group.