Today, the Government of Italy and UNICEF signed an agreement for an amount of 1 million Euros to support the management of the Health Pool Fund (HPF) to support the implementation of the Health Sector Transformation Programme (HSTP) of the Government of Ethiopia (GoE). As per the agreement, UNICEF is designated to administer the pool fund which will be implemented up to the end of 2020.
The agreement, which was signed by the Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Arturo Luzzi, for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and by Ms. Gillian Mellsop, Representative of UNICEF Ethiopia, was also acknowledged by Mr. Tiberio Chiari, Head of the Addis Ababa Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
The Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Arturo Luzzi, highlighted that this is a further step in the Italian ongoing collaboration with the GoE in favour of the Ethiopian population in the health sector. Through this Agreement, the partnership between Italy and UNICEF becomes even more effective and stronger, specifically for the HPF, a pioneer pool fund in the health sector, established in 2005 for ensuring harmonization and alignment.
Mr. Tiberio Chiari, Director of the AICS Addis Ababa Office underlined that “Through this agreement, we reiterate our strong commitment to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health. We sincerely believe that our funding will contribute to strengthen the health system in Ethiopia, which Italy has always strongly supported. Moreover, the agreement signed today is a further step in our partnership with UNICEF aimed at ensuring healthy life and promoting wellbeing to all Ethiopians at all ages”.
Ms. Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, on her part said, “We appreciate the significant contribution from the Italian Government which aims to strengthen the health system as well as the joint efforts of UNICEF and other health partners. Together, we can ensure access to quality health services for the most vulnerable Ethiopian children and their families and particularly those in the hard to reach areas.”
The major areas to be addressed by the HPF IV will be: i) strengthening the management of HSTP implementation, ii) technical assistance, iii) planning, monitoring & evaluation, harmonization and alignment, iv) other critical areas, like the emergency situation. In detail, the funding will be used to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health structures and functions at all levels through planning, monitoring and provision of qualified technical assistance and ensure that every Ethiopian has access to quality health and nutrition services regardless of location, income and educational status which is the centrepiece of Health Sector Transformation Plan. The funding will be flexible to support unforeseen humanitarian response especially in the most disadvantaged areas taking into account the recurrent emergency situations affecting the Country.
The current Ethiopian Health Sector Transformation Plan (2016–2020) has identified equity, boosting service utilization and improving quality of services, and a woreda (district) transformation and information revolution as key priorities. The objective is to achieve equitable and affordable coverage of quality health interventions for newborns, children, adolescent girls and women across the continuum of care at the family, community and primary health care levels.
Thus, this partnership has significantly contributed to the remarkable results achieved by the Ethiopian Government in the health sector, particularly for the reduction of under-five mortality, the improvement of maternal health and is renewed in order to reach the goal of the Universal Health Coverage which aims that guaranteeing access to all, especially for the most vulnerable part of the population.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.