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Statement by Ambassador Teshome Toga
at Global Fund/EU support progress and challenges − the case of Ethiopia
Organized by Global Fund EU Friends − 8 December 2014
Hon. MEPs, Invited guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I wish to thank Friends of Global Fund Europe for inviting me to this event.
Ethiopia over the last decade has registered a remarkable economic and social transformation. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 2011-2015 placed strong focus on te Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and gave high priority to human development. In line with the objective of poverty reduction and bringing about social development, the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) has invested hugely in both physical and human capital formation. The Health Sector Development Program (HSDP) is a key component of the GTP, and an important vehicle for achieving the GTP targets for building human capital.
The significant socio-economic growth registered in the country is the result of harmonized efforts of government, the people and development partners. The health sector has benefited much from the governments’ strong political commitment, leadership and clear policies and strategies intervention.
As part of the harmonized effort, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has been a major stakeholder in combating the three deadly diseases in Ethiopia since 2003. Global Fund’s commitment to channel the Fund through the existing government system has led to a tremendous impact.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ethiopia has made unprecedented gains in reducing the mortalities and morbidities of these three deadly diseases through the Global Fund support. Ethiopia has halted and reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS through focused interventions and increased access to antiretroviral therapy. Ethiopia has decreased the mortality and morbidity of both by more than 50%.
Global Fund support also created accesses to improved prevention and treatment services through integrating health system, strengthening initiatives to the efforts of combating the three diseases. Ethiopia created a system of combining solid infrastructure with skilled health workers and quality treatment. More than 3,500 health centers and 16,000 Health Posts have been constructed and made functional. An army of more than 38,000 government salaried health extension workers have been deployed within the community and filling the last kilometers between the household and the primary health care units. Global Fund has contributed significantly to these achievements.
Expansion of primary health care facilities, training and deployment of health workers and expansion of innovative health extension program have created access to health information and improved utilization of health services for the rural poor. The government has leveraged the Global Fund, domestic and other partners support in this endeavour.
The Federal Ministry of Health has designed a preferred health sector financing arrangement, the Millennium Development Goals Pool Fund (MDG PF), and attracted major health development partners. The MDG PF financing arrangement is a practical demonstration of International Health Partnership (IHP+) principles as it creates a platform for spirit and mutual accountability and improved efficiency through harmonizing multiple development partners’ resource to address the sector priorities. So far this has contributed a great deal to the efficient achievement of ambitious and resource intensive targets set under the fourth health sector development program (2011-2015).
The European Union (EU) decision to joining this preferred financing arrangement, the MDG Pool Fund in addition to its support through the Global Fund has demonstrated the EU’s commitment to transform the health of the Ethiopian communities.
Indeed, Ethiopia has made great strides in improving the health of its people. Despite the fact that Ethiopia has already met or is on track to meet many targets of the MDGs, there is unfinished MDG agenda around mortality reduction, particularly maternal and newborn mortality, addressing the emerging drug resistant Tuberculosis, elimination of malaria and universal access to high quality anti-retroviral drugs and diagnostic services.
More efforts are also required to ensure current efforts and achievements are enhanced and sustained, inequalities in service utilization are addressed and quality service is ensured and sustained.
The past experience of achievements and challenges provides important lessons and inputs to guide policies, strategies and programs to be implemented in the next 20 years with the concerted efforts of our development partners. It is high time to envision the future of the health sector beyond 2015. The strong partnership between the Global Fund, EU and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia lays the foundation for transformative post-2015 sustainable development agenda and to embark upon the concerted efforts of our partners throughout the world.
Excellencies, finally, the people and government of Ethiopia remain grateful to all Partners without whose contribution achievements in the health sector and other pro-poor sectors would have been difficult if not impossible. We call on all partners of the Global Fund and EU to accompany us to the full realization of the impacts of our collective intervention.
I thank you.