modalities

Health Financing Partnership Facility

The Health Financing Partnership Facility received a $6.5 million new contribution from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. The new contribution will build on the facility’s achievements and support COVID-19 initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

At A Glance

1

Trust Fund

14 leaders

in Asia and the Pacific commit to the malaria elimination road map

$6.5 million

new contribution in 2020 for COVID-19 response in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Trust Fund

  • Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Disease Threats Trust Fund (RMTF)

Contributors

  • Australia*
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
*Australia was a contributor to the RMTF until 2018.

ADB and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FDCO) of the United Kingdom (UK), on 14 December 2020, signed an agreement that would make available a £4.8 million contribution to the RMTF to build on the established regional mechanism for strengthening health systems that ADB had developed in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The RMTF is currently the lone trust fund under the Health Financing Partnership Facility (HFPF).

The HFPF was established in 2013, concurrently with the RMTF, to improve health outcomes in ADB’s developing members. It also aimed to improve health governance to expand universal health coverage for poor and vulnerable populations and boost health security, as a regional public good, through control of communicable diseases.

Double Diseases

In this COVID-19 world, countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion face the double challenge of responding to the current health crisis and ensuring that advances to eliminate malaria do not slide. The RMTF’s malaria elimination projects that strengthened regional and national health systems offer some useful mechanisms, lessons, and advice.

The UK was among the donors of the RMTF, along with Australia and Canada, from the fund’s inception in 2013 until 2018 when the regional initiative to eliminate malaria in the GMS concluded. The RMTF’s malaria elimination program achieved far-reaching results: malaria incidence significantly declined, new financing mechanisms were established, cross-border interventions were instituted, and overall, health systems were strengthened.

For the HFPF, the UK’s new contribution is both auspicious and timely. In 2019, the HFPF was in the process of reorientation and realignment to ensure that ADB’s ongoing support for regional health security was properly aligned with ADB Strategy 2030’s focus on universal health coverage, regional cooperation and integration, and the promotion of the use of digital health and adoption of interoperability of health information systems. Then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and brought about unprecedented global challenges.

The FCDO has been exploring options for supporting poorer countries in Southeast Asia during the pandemic, as part of the UK’s closer alignment with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Given the UK’s prior support to the RMTF, the FCDO considered the RMTF as the preferred vehicle through which it could provide swift and relevant assistance for COVID-19 response in the GMS.

The UK’s additional financing is intended to build capacities in the GMS through strengthening health systems, enhancing regional coordination, capacity building, and sharing of best practices.

Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Disease Threats Trust Fund (2013)

Total Contributions Committed

$36 million

Committed to Projects

$33.6 million for 8 projects and direct charges

Contributors
  • Australia ($16.2 million)
  • Canada ($531,916)
  • United Kingdom ($19.2 million)

In 2020, the United Kingdom provided a new contribution of £4.8 million ($6.5 million).

The Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Disease Threats Trust Fund (RMTF) supported multi-country, cross-border, and multisector responses to eliminate malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Through its projects, the RMTF advocated for a collaborative approach to malaria elimination that goes beyond the health sector and national governments to draw in the private sector, nongovernment agencies, and the donor community across multiple domains, with a focus on health systems strengthening rather than on a single disease.

An important financing result of the RMTF was the issuance of ADB’s first health bond. The private placement of $100 million issued in March 2017 was purchased by the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, making it the world’s first institutional investor to buy a bond that supports ADB’s health program. A sustainability pathway was left in place to ensure that the results continue to resonate and that governments, donors, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector can continue to build on what has been achieved. Australia was a contributor to the RMTF until 2018.

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