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March 05, 2019

Global health crisis will crash G20 economy without urgent action from leaders to build new funding partnerships, warns expert report

G20 health and finance ministers urged to bring about the necessary marriage between the wealth and the health of nations
 
A global coalition of charities, businesses, product development partnerships and academics have come together to say the G20 is failing to meet today’s urgent health challenges and this will only be solved if heads of government and finance ministers take charge to stop this severe threat to the global economy as well as to humanity.
 
The G20 Health and Development Partnership – representing 21 leading global organisations and more than 1000 collaborators – will today urge G20 heads of government and finance ministers to join health ministers in addressing the growing disease burden before it is too late.
 
It is predicted that the number of deaths in the G20 countries from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes will double by 2030 if urgent steps are not taken now. Together with the fact that tuberculosis still remains the number one killer globally, the rise of drug resistance amongst infectious diseases pose an existential threat to society.
 
The report, which is being launched in the UK parliament today (Tuesday 5th March) calls on G20 heads of government and finance ministers to ‘take ownership’ of this issue similar to their efforts combatting climate change - rather than just leave it to health ministers. The economic consequences in low- and middle income countries of the increasing disease burden is unsustainable if not addressed.
 
The partnership is presenting the report to the heads of government finance and health ministers in advance of the joint G20 health and finance ministers meeting in Japan this June.
 
Lord Jim O’Neill, chair of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House London, said:
 
“This report by the G20 Health and Development Partnership is an appeal to G20 finance ministers to remove the silo walls around health care to see what can be done to make a link between the health and the wealth of our nations.
 
“It sets out to support the need to invest in human capital in terms of global health. It is a holistic approach that blends economics and health so that the wealth and the health of nations are united in a new priority for government, society and the economic actors in the rest of the century.
 
“I would like the G20 health and finance ministers to bring about the necessary marriage between the wealth and the health of nations.”
 
Alan Donnelly, Convener of the G20 Health and Development Partnership and Executive Chairman of Sovereign Sustainability and Development, said:
 
“The richest nations of the world will miss their own health global goals unless governments recognise the existential nature of the threat, make it a priority for leaders, and develop new partnerships because government funding isn’t going to fix this alone.
 
“This is no longer just an issue for health ministers, it is now an issue for heads of government and for finance ministers because of the threat to the global economy as well as to humanity.
 
“The G20 Health and Development Partnership, which emerged during the course of the German presidency in 2017, works to ensure that G20 countries are coordinating their health innovation strategy to tackle the growing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases globally.
 
“This year the G20 can set in motion steps to examine new ways of funding innovation in health and encourage the establishment of mechanisms that will help to fund the diagnostics, vaccines and medicines that are so urgently required globally.”

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