As the world continues its fight against COVID-19, other ongoing outbreaks are stark reminders of the continued and constant threat posed by infectious diseases. The global Mpox outbreak and an Ebola outbreak in Uganda are just two of the most recent examples of how the risks and impact of emerging infectious diseases are increasing daily, and how global systems remain ill-equipped to identify and contain these threats. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to prioritize global health security as a critical component of national biodefense. Today, the Administration announced new actions to advance global health security that accelerate implementation of the National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan for Countering Biological Threats, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness, and Achieving Global Health Security (Strategy). With this Strategy, the Administration has charted a bold and ambitious roadmap to protect American lives and livelihoods, and protect against infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate. Partnering with countries to stop infectious disease threats at their source — by strengthening equitable health systems in their own regions — is an effective way to protect the health of Americans and people across the world.
EXPANDING GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY PARTNERSHIPS
The United States is committed to directly supporting at least 50 countries, by 2025, to strengthen and achieve regional, national and local capacity in five critical areas to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. Building these capacities will further accelerate country compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) and help reach the 2024 target of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). Over the next year, the United States will:
Expand and strengthen bilateral partnerships with at least 25 countries to develop measurable capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to epidemic and pandemic threats. This includes:
Forging 6 new and enhanced partnerships with Ghana, Guatemala, Mozambique, The Philippines, Zambia, and Ukraine (when the operating environment allows);
Strengthening longstanding partnerships with Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.
Build and expand regional partnerships in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on infectious disease surveillance and early warning systems, biosafety and biosecurity, strengthening emergency operations centers, training and supporting health workers, investing in community and national leadership for global health security, and legal preparedness. These partnerships also include the multisectoral African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance (APORA) and joint efforts between the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force.
Leverage bilateral U.S. global health security programs alongside investments from the newly established Pandemic Fund (formerly known as Financial Intermediary Fund) at the World Bank to achieve additional measurable results at the national, regional, and global level, and spur new resource mobilization for pandemic preparedness and response; and
Support implementation of the third edition of the World Health Organization’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention will provide technical experts to support 10 countries’ JEEs, assisting in gap assessments and developing recommendations to address them.
The United States employs a whole-of-government approach assisting partners to strengthen regional, national and local health systems to better prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats in a safe and secure manner, bolstered by programs and appropriations of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Defense, and others. To achieve these measurable results and support additional crosscutting global health security activities, the United States is providing more than $1.25 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 funds, an increase of over $570 million from Fiscal Year 2021. The Administration has also reaffirmed and will continue to utilize the coordinated whole of government effort outlined in Executive Order 13747, Executive Order 13987, and National Security Memorandum-15 to accelerate progress.
SPURRING OTHER DONORS AND MULTILATERAL PARTNERS TO ACT
Global health security is vital for international security and solidarity, and cannot be achieved alone. In addition to expanding bilateral partnerships, the United States will utilize its unparalleled catalytic leadership to unlock more commitments from allies, donors, and other partners to bolster support an additional 50 countries. To this end, over the next year, the United States will:
Strengthen and support the extension of the multilateral GHSA beyond 2023, as a forum for working across countries, regions, sectors (including non-governmental) to provide technical assistance and share best practices and measure and hold global partners accountable for progress. This week, the United States joined other multi-sectoral delegations in committing to and calling for new actions during the 7th GHSA Ministerial in Seoul, Republic of Korea;
Strengthen the new Pandemic Fund at the World Bank as a founding Board Member to deliver early impact for those countries and regions most in need, including supporting them to strengthen and achieve measurable capacity in critical areas;
Accelerate G7 commitments made by the United States and its close allies in 2021 and 2022, including meeting milestones of the G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness towards assisting at least 100 countries, and collaborating with Japan’s G7 Presidency to expand health security investments, bolster medical countermeasure development and delivery, and grow pandemic preparedness and response financing. This G7 commitment matches the United States’ own 50 country target commitment, and aligns with the target of the GHSA 2024 initiative; and
Support the planned Global Health Security Coordinating Office being established by Republic of Korea and expected to launch in 2023, including strengthening coordination and collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s new East Asia regional office.
BUILDING PREPAREDNESS AT HOME AND WITH OUR NEIGHBORS
While we build capacity globally, the United States will continue to invest in pandemic preparedness here at home and in our own region, working with partners in the Western Hemisphere. The majority of our domestic goals and objectives are articulated within the recent National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan. Building on this Strategy, the United States will work regionally – in North and South America — this year – to build additional health security capacity. Specifically, the United States will:
Commit, working with the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to initiate and conduct a renewed external evaluation of U.S. health security and pandemic preparedness capacity by the end of 2024, in line with strong U.S. commitment to the International Health Regulations and using the new Joint External Evaluation (JEE) 3.0 Tool;
As tasked in NSM-15, revise the U.S. Global Health Security Strategy to incorporate lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and further outline the Administration’s international strategy and support for achieving a stronger, more secure global health security architecture with equity at the center;
Work collaboratively with Canada and Mexico under the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) to revise the North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI) based on lesson learned from COVID-19. The three countries plan on developing and launching a new NAPAPI at the 11th NALS as a key cross-sectoral, flexible, and scalable trilateral framework for strengthening regional preparedness and response to a broader range of health security threats that includes influenza and beyond;
Strengthen regional engagement, including establishing a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention regional office in Panama City, Panama, serving Central America and the Caribbean; and
Establish and support, in collaboration with PAHO and the InterAmerican Development Bank, the Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas (EHA), which aims to convene Ministries of Health, Finance, Economy, and Foreign Affairs of countries in the Western Hemisphere to jointly address the economic repercussions of COVID-19 and strengthen regional pandemic preparedness.
DELIVERING RESULTS FROM UNITED STATES INVESTMENTS
Investing billions of dollars today in global health security can save trillions of dollars and millions of lives. As requested in the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, the Biden-Harris Administration urges Congress to fully meet this unique moment in history – by providing the additional resources needed to sustain and accelerate progress for these global health security partnerships, and solidify steadfast U.S. leadership in the Pandemic Fund.
In order to show Congress and the American people the impact generated from these life-saving investments, the Administration is also releasing its annual report, Progress and Impact of U.S. Government Investments in Global Health Security, which details key outcomes from our Fiscal Year 2021 partner country activities.
In publishing these significant and measurable results, the United States continues to model transparency and accountability for its health security investments with global partners, and calls on countries and non-governmental organizations to do the same. The results are clear: Investing in preparedness and prevention saves lives and yields tangible results, including helping to rapidly address outbreaks of Ebola, yellow fever, Lassa fever, polio, influenza, and many others.
Source: The White House