Speech/statement | Date: 12/12/2018
By Former Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup (New Delhi, 12 December)
Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup's statement when the partnership for maternal, newborn and child health met in India 12 December.
I am very pleased to be here today, at this important event together with so many leaders, innovators and experts on global health.
The Norwegian government has put global health on top of our agenda. In 2019, Norway will invest 600 million USD in global health. In addition to that, we will allocate 125 million USD to advance gender equality, and a substantial part of our 475 million USD to education goes specifically to girls’ education.
Every year, more than 5 million women, children and adolescents die from preventable causes. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Norway! Last month, Norway hosted the Global Financing Facility Replenishment Conference in Oslo. We reached 1 billion USD in new commitments. If we reach 2 billion USD by the end of 2023, we can help to save 35 million lives by 2030. That’s what I call a good investment!
Reaching SDG3 is key to reaching all the SDGs. But it will require smarter work.
I therefore welcome the Global Action Plan for Healthy lives and Well-being (the SDG 3+ Action Plan), called for by Chancellor Merkel, President Akufo-Addo and my Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.
I strongly encourage all stakeholders, many of you present here today, to commit to the plan and ensure its implementation.
Modern medicine has allowed us to cure a wide range of diseases and drastically extend life expectancy.
But these medicines are not always affordable or accessible to all. That means we are off track to achieve SDG3. We are off track to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages.
Governments have a major role to play in tracking threats to health and setting priorities for action - as well as assembling a partnership of public and private providers to ensure everyone has access to the services they need.
Yesterday, I was in Abu Dhabi at the Gavi Mid-term Review. And the good news is that Gavi also can play an important role. Gavi’s work has resulted in decreased prices and increased access to vaccines, and more than 700 million children is vaccinated since 2000!
Technology drives development processes. Digitalisation makes it easier to keep track, reduce corruption and help planning.
I am a member of the UN Secretary General’s high-level panel for Digital Cooperation. One important topic is how big data and digital public goods can help us to respond better to those in need.
Allow me to mention one example, which I think is hard to beat when it comes to scale. Since the 1990s, the University of Oslo has been building up the world’s largest health information system – District Health Information System 2.
It is a governed open source platform, and is now being used in 100 countries, and has a global footprint of 2.3 billion people!
The Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) incubate innovations in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. We are proud to partner with India in this effort.
I would like to thank the Partnership for your tireless efforts to bring this agenda forward.