Why the Netherlands must invest more in development cooperation and global health

In a petition, Dutch organisations, including Wemos, call on the Dutch government to increase their investments in development cooperation and global health during the next government term (2021-2025). Diseases are borderless, and this has become even more evident with the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore crucial that countries worldwide work together to make the world a safer, healthier place. Sign the petition if you support our call!

‘Epidemics are often illustrative of underlying problems, and mainly are the result of many years of a lack of effective investment in strong and resilient healthcare. We can only prevent future epidemics if all countries are able to make these needed investments. This calls for cooperation on a global scale. There is no point in only improving our own health care, and neglecting it elsewhere, because a virus outbreak elsewhere will eventually reach us all in this globalised world,’ wrote Wemos’ director Mariëlle Bemelmans in her article in Vice Versa in March last year.

Strong health systems and strong sexual and reproductive health and rights are intertwined

The pandemic has also induced a sense of ‘vaccine nationalism’ among countries, threatening Covid-19 vaccine access and distribution among especially low- and middle-income countries, says global health advocate Tom Buis. In many countries, it has also disrupted essential health services, like sexual and reproductive health and rights services, putting women and girls in an even more precarious position. Wemos therefore strongly emphasises the intrinsic connection between health systems and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Governments must invest in strengthening their health systems, not only for the sake of making them stronger in general, but also to be fully prepared for future pandemics.

Let us learn from 2020

Last year was a painful lesson on why it is important to structurally invest in health – inside and outside country borders. Increased investments in development cooperation and global health should be one of the priorities of the next Dutch cabinet.

Do you support the main message in the petition by ONE, Cordaid, Aidsfonds, Amref Flying Doctors, NVTG, Wemos and many others? Then sign it today (click on the image below)!

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