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Ill health is both a cause and effect of poverty. In a vicious cycle, poverty generates ill health, and poor health, in turn, brings more poverty. The EU, in order to improve the health conditions in the developing countries, is taking action in health care as well as in other sectors like nutrition, water & sanitation, information & education for healthier behaviour and road safety. In health care, integrated approaches are more effective and more sustainable, this is why support is being redirected from single diseases interventions to more comprehensive health systems strengthen.

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  The right to health, right now!

This video focuses on the EU's contribution to the fight against counterfeit drugs and ensuring that people in ACP countries are able to access essential medicines of a good quality.

  Call for proposals about HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment and care is now closed

The call for proposals, 'Capacity building for non-state actors in relation to HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment and care for the European Neighbourhood and Partnership countries' published on 23 July 2010, under the thematic programme Investing in People has now been closed. The indicative calendar can be consulted under the specific call, on the EuropeAid's central website

Financial support

For the period 2007-2013, the EU's action in the field of health in developing countries is financed through two types of instruments:

  • Geographical instruments: They are implemented at national and regional level Some of them are the European Development Fund (in the ACP countries), the Development Co-operation Instrument (in Latin America, Asia and South Africa), and the European Neigbourhoud & Partnership Instrument (in the neighbouring regions). The geographical instruments constitute the major share of EU's support for health in developing countries.
  • The thematic strategy paper “Investing in people:This programme focuses on the critical lack of personnel in many developing countries' healthcare systems. It also pays particular attention to the leading poverty-related diseases: HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.  55% of the budget of "Investing in People" goes to the pillar Good health for all, which focuses on improving access to health realted public goods. In addition, "Investing in people" also supports activities designed to encourage implementation of the Cairo agenda on sexual and reproductive health rights, agreed at the International Conference on Population and Development.


Background information

As stated in the regulation establishing the financial instrument for development cooperation , four key health issues need to be addressed through external action:

  • access to health services for the poor and other disadvantaged groups
  • the crisis in human resources in healthcare, linked to the migration of doctors, nurses and other key healthcare workers. There is an urgent need to strengthen the ability of many developing countries to train, support and retain enough healthcare personnel;
  • the main poverty-related diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis), with the aim of helping developing countries to achieve universal access to prevention and treatment for all in need by 2010;
  • sexual and reproductive health and rights, in the countries with the worst indicators for sexual and reproductive health, and the worst status for their citizens in terms of sexual and reproductive rights, in particular where governments have been unable or unwilling to take effective action on their own.
Last update: 05/04/2013 | Top