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

Two doctors and nurse communicating in a hallway while working in the hospital during COVID-19 pandemic. Focus is on nurse.

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.