The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation will host the High-Level Meeting of GAP (Global Action Plan against Covid-19) today and tomorrow. This meeting will be attended by senior representatives from 35 countries – with a special delegation from the United States – and from such organizations as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, the Red Cross, the Global Network for Academic Public Health (GNAPH), the Spanish Medicines Agency, the European Commission and IS Global.
The event will be closed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares Bueno, and include the participation of the State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs, Ángeles Moreno Bau and the State Secretary for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela Rodríguez.
The Global Action Plan (GAP) was created as a follow-up to the “Global Summit on Covid-19: Ending the pandemic and building back better health security”, called by the United States in September 2021 and attended at the highest level by some 100 countries, along with representatives of international organizations, NGDOs and the private sector in the field of global health. The GAP was conceived with the aim of joining forces and improving international coordination to overcome the pandemic collectively by working on six core “Lines of Effort”:
- Get Shots in Arms
- Bolster Supply Chain Resilience
- Address Information Gaps
- Support Health Workers
- Ensure Acute Non-Vaccine Interventions (Test and Treat)
- Strengthen Health Security Architecture
The United States then invited Spain, as a leader in global health, to promote a new High-Level Meeting of GAP. The aims of this week’s meeting in Madrid are to continue bolstering international action on Covid-19, measure the progress made, outline measures to control the virus and strengthen global security. The final conclusions of the six core “Lines of Effort” promoted in the GAP will also be debated.
The lack of health workers – the main cause of problems in health services
Spain heads up the fourth line of effort in the Global Action Plan: support health workers. The lack of health workers has been the greatest problem since the outbreak of the pandemic and, according to two thirds of the Member States of the WHO, is the main factor that causes problems in the provision of essential health services, and is the greatest barrier to diagnoses, therapies and vaccination.
At this meeting, a debate on the different global health strategies will also be held, given their importance since the pandemic. In addition, the first 100% Spanish and European vaccine – HIPRA - will be presented.
Spain is committed, alongside the European Union, to complying with the commitments taken on in the Global Action Plan against Covid-19. In addition to a high vaccination rate, Spain is one of the main global vaccine donors, ranked fifth in the world, second in Latin America and plays a very important role as a donor in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Southern Neighborhood and Asia.
Lastly, the meeting will also serve to prepare for the ministerial meeting called by the Secretary for State of the United States, Antony Blinken, at United Nations week in New York at the end of September, where Spain will be the co-host, alongside the United States, Bangladesh and Botswana.
Original press release from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation