International Cooperation and Development

Good health and well-being

The 3rd Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3) aims at globally improving everyone’s health and well-being in the world, no matter their level of income, age, race, gender etc.

According to the UN, despite significant strides made in increasing global life expectancy, inequalities in healthcare access still exist. More than 6 million children still die before their 5th birthday each year and only half of all women in developing regions have access to the healthcare they need. We could for example collectively save 1 million children each year, just by investing more in immunisation.

To reach SDG3, we favour a broad sector approach with partner countries. We notably take actions to:

  • reduce maternal and child mortality
  • address non-communicable diseases and fight epidemics
  • improve women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare
  • achieve universal health coverage

Via the Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund, we currently provide 17 countries with substantive support in this area.

    The EU is also a major contributor to international health-related initiatives:

    • the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria
    • the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI)
    • the World Health Organization (WHO)
    • the UN Population Fund

    Since its inception in 2002, the EU has committed more than €2.6 billion to the Global Fund, with a record €500 million contribution pledged for 2020-2022. This will help save 16 million more lives from the 3 diseases.

    Our health work with partner countries is also guided by WHO’s health systems strengthening (HSS) approach, which fosters national ownership of health strategies and ensure that our support stays coherent and efficient.

    A strong health system, according to WHO, needs to:

    • be able to provide quality health services
    • have sufficient, well-trained health staff
    • have sound public health information and well-performing information management systems
    • ensure access to essential medicines to a decent price
    • be based on adequate, needs-based financing policies
    • have a strong leadership and good governance

    Our impact