GHC Priorities for 2022

March 28, 2022

Dear GHC Community,

A lot can happen in six months, which is how long I have been at the helm of Global Health Council. As you might imagine, joining a global health organization in the midst of a worldwide pandemic is the definition of “hitting the ground running.” For example, in my first week, I represented our network of advocates at the virtual Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, hosted by President Biden. This was quickly followed by GHC’s annual Global Health Landscape Symposium in December. Throughout all this, and in the months since, our team has been assessing our efforts, analyzing the broader environment, and determining where we can have a real impact on global health. This led us to the following priorities for GHC over the next year:

Using the power of our community’s collective voice, we will continue to play to our strengths and work across disease areas to drive sustainable funding and equitable policies that improve global health and well-being for all. We will focus these efforts on four priority areas in the coming year:

Multilateral Support. By leveraging the support of donors like the U.S., multilateral institutions protect the world against public health threats. As a collective resource, they require collective support to accomplish shared global goals. This year lends itself to mobilizing such support, with the U.S. hosting the Global Fund Replenishment. We will also continue to seek sustained financing for the World Health Organization. GHC and its members will be active participants in these efforts, calling for well-resourced and effective multilateral organizations.

Global Health Security. At our Symposium in December, GHC called for a new definition of global health security—one that is multidisciplinary, holistic, and centered on the safety and security of all people. The current paradigm results in unpredictable funding that is unsustainable and works against long-term solutions for healthcare challenges. Furthermore, national security should not be the primary justification for global health security decisions; human rights, equity, dignity, and thriving development must be central to this process, as well. This approach is one we pressed for in the COVID supplemental bill and one that we will continue to advocate for throughout the FY23 budget process.

U.S. Global Health Leadership. The U.S. has a long history of global health leadership, playing a critical role in fighting diseases, developing effective programs, and building health systems throughout the world. Building on this legacy is more important than ever. It requires well-resourced, operationally sound institutions that are able to develop and implement effective, equitable programs. These are all things GHC and its members will be advocating for as FY23 budget discussions take place. 

Global Health Equity. Achieving equity in global health requires a collective approach that reaches across sectors, communities, and countries, with health and social justice at its core. Health for some is not good enough; an equitable opportunity to be as healthy as possible is necessary for all. GHC will be discussing this topic at our upcoming CSO SummitElevating Civil Society and Community Voices in Global Health. At this event, we will be talking about the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized populations. The convening is also the starting point for CSOs to apply for a new series of microgrants GHC will be issuing to develop and launch global health advocacy plans.

Of course, none of these priorities are “new” to GHC; they simply represent a refinement of work we’ve already done and an increased level of focus. As always, we remain committed to amplifying the voices of our members and to provide a structure within which the vertical diseases readily fit. 

One thing I haven’t done as much as I would like in my first six months at GHC is talk with all of you. I’ve had opportunities to speak with many of you one-on-one and attend virtual events with you, but I haven’t used this platform to share my thoughts on a consistent basis. This message is the first of what I intend to be a regular update. I have shared an overview of the four pillars of GHC’s work here. In future messages; in future messages, I will be doing a deeper dive into each individual pillar. In the meantime, I am eager to hear your feedback and to learn how we can best collaborate with you to further global health progress.

All the best,
Elisha Dunn-Georgiou