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Cordaid NL
Global Health

Global Health, Global Access

Increasing support for healthy lives and human dignity for everyone, everywhere.

Do you believe health is a human right? Do you believe people should not be pushed into poverty for accessing health services? Do you believe in a world where everyone can live a healthy life, regardless of who they are and where they live? Then you believe in Universal Health Coverage.

Global Health, Global Access is Cordaid’s lobby and advocacy programme to increase Official Development Assistance for health care.

Since 2017, the programme has been deploying powerful advocacy efforts to influence and increase the Dutch contribution to strengthening health systems in low-income countries. The programme is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Why advocate for a more global approach to health?

Cordaid’s advocacy efforts start from the premise that health is first and foremost a human right. It is a basic requirement for an active and dignifying life. With strong health systems, other public service systems like education can be safeguarded. And with better education, greater economic development can be fostered.

As the world is recovering and learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, strong health systems, everywhere, have proven to be crucial for a functioning global society. That is why Cordaid is an advocate for a global approach to health. This is what we call Universal Health Coverage.

This should guarantee that all people, of all genders, have access to quality health services. Also, accessing these services should not push them into financial hardship.

Are you curious about Universal Health Coverage? Watch this video:

Gender equity

Universal Health Coverage cannot be achieved without taking gender equity into account every step of the way. Taking a gendered approach to global health is central to the idea of leaving no one behind. We need to focus on the common good, human dignity and social justice.

The role of the Netherlands in global health

COVID-19 has made it blatantly clear: health has a global impact. The development sector and the donor community need to focus on improving health systems in low-income countries and should leave no one behind. Investing in health care in these countries will contribute to improving economic development, social stability, and the health situation across the globe.

The discussion about the role of high-income countries, like the Netherlands, in advancing international development is not new. In 2015, the international community committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agreement includes the goals of Good Health and Well-Being and Gender Equality.

These Sustainable Development Goals call on governments and organisations to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by 2030. This can be achieved through systematic investments in global health and by making health systems stronger.

Official Development Assistance

An important investment towards achieving global health is the governments’ allocated budget, called Official Development Assistance. In 1970, the United Nations agreed that high-income countries should put 0.7% of their Gross National Income towards this goal. The World Health Organisation later recommended that 14% of a countries’ Official Development Assistance should be allocated to global health.

More on Official Development Assistance in this video:

The Netherlands is regarded as a global health champion, for a large part thanks to its strong legacy in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights and vaccines. Until 2010, the Netherlands had adhered to the 0.7% commitment, and in some years even spent more than 0.8%.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the Dutch government has gradually reduced its contribution to 0.55%, of which 10% is allocated to global health.

Global Health, Global Access is about increasing Official Development Assistance

The Global Health, Global Access programme stimulates and motivates the Dutch government to increase its contribution to international development, global health and health system strengthening. We do this by raising public awareness and through actions that influence policies.

-> Read more about the partnerships and thematic areas in the Global Health, Global Access programme

Our core advocacy messages are:

  • The Dutch government should restore its 0,7% GNI commitment to Official Development Assistance and a 0,1% GNI commitment to global health.
  • We need to strengthen health systems in low-income countries and focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights to respond to the needs of millions of people and reach the most vulnerable and marginalised.
  • Prioritise gender equity (in all its diversity) in the results of global health to ensure no one will be left behind.

In the programme, we work together with several multilateral organisations, including:

These organisations share their experience and showcase the effectiveness of coordinated investment in strong health systems. Through Global Health, Global Access, we help raise awareness about the activities of these organisations in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Global Health Alliance

In 2019, Cordaid joined forces with Dutch global health organisations Amref Flying Doctors, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Wemos and AidsFonds to form the Dutch Global Health Alliance, with the objective to encourage the Dutch government to adopt global health perspectives and actions in their policies.

-> Read more about the alliance

Do you want to learn more about how we can invest effectively in global health? Watch this video: