Health within the broader approach to development
The most recent UK aid strategy (2015) includes commitments to ensuring access to basic health needs and strengthening resilience, albeit in a dated strategy document. However, following the merger of the FCO and DFID, whilst ‘UK leadership in the global COVID-19 response’ was a stated priority, global health more broadly and the manifesto commitment to ‘end preventable deaths’ were noticeably absent from the list.
Global health strategy and position papers
The UK Government has not had a public strategy – or any comprehensive document – guiding its work in global health since 2013. Additionally, a Health Systems Strengthening Position Paper has been under preparation for over four years, but no date for publication is as yet confirmed. Similarly, no date for publication has been confirmed for the UK Government’s ‘Action Plan’ on ‘ending preventable deaths’.
Political commitments across all SDG 3 targets
The UK’s wide range of political commitments to health globally have seen it make pledges and/or build political capital across the majority of SDG 3 targets. However, although some targets – such as non-communicable diseases and universal health coverage – may benefit from UK funding, they are not subject to the same level of political commitment.
Support from the UK parliament
Parliamentarians from across all parties continue to demonstrate support for improving health in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, the International Development Committee and a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups across global health areas have consistently proven to be valued champions of the UK’s ODA to health.