FFD: Packed room and great discussion at NCD Alliance side event

16th July 2015

"Securing a Healthy Future: Sustainable Financing for NCDs in the Post-2015 Agenda"

What are the most effective means of sustainable financing for prevention and control of NCDs? This question set the tone for the side event held last Tuesday 14 July, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the Third International Conference of Financing for Development (FFD3)

Co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania and the NCD Alliance, the discussion focused on best practices for raising domestic revenue, including the taxation of tobacco and other unhealthy products, an approach that offers both fiscal and health returns.

Strategies for maximising the efficiency of available resources, including implementing universal health coverage (UHC) to safeguard investments made in health programmes over the last decade, were also considered.

Mr Simon Bland, Director of UNAIDS New York Liaison Office, moderated the session and began by challenging the separation between communicable diseases and NCDs. ‘If we are not ambitious for the whole agenda […] it is a zero sum gain. We are all in it together’, he said.

In his opening remarks, Prof Ayoub Magumba, from Tanzania, highlighted the potential for FfD3: "Raise awareness of need to increase financing and other resources for NCDs; explore the challenges and best practices around different levels of financing for health and NCDs; explore how to strengthen PPPs, and consider increasing domestic revenues".

‘We don’t need ‘business as usual,' we need ‘unusual business,' noted Mr Martin Bille Hermann, State Secretary for Development Policy, Denmark. "In many ways MDGs have been a success. But NCDs were neglected and have suffered in terms of financing and attention.  We must recognise that within SDGs, NCDs are represented and this is right and necessary ‘smart economy’ and ‘smart investment’ to be made in NCDs".

Dr Brenda Killen, Deputy Director, OECD Development Cooperation Directorate questioned "What’s happening with development finance? At Addis, we are talking about what aid can do itself, but also how aid can catalyse or open up other forms of finance. Aid is billions of dollars per year that normally turns up on time – it is spoken of as passé but still a force for good. We are trying to get the right financing, in the right form, in the right place, at the right time".

Dr Jean-Paul Sigy, Corporate Vice President, Business Area Africa, Novo Nordisk, noted that critically, "Multi-partnership is crucial, one actor cannot tackle the whole problem on their own. PPPs should provide aid value for everyone". 

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