Global TB Caucus at the H20 Summit: Reaffirming goals for the years to come
This year’s H20 Summit was held in Geneva, Switzerland from the 1st to 2nd of September, and marked its first in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic. It brought together G20 policymakers, international organisations, the private sector, economists, civil society, academia, and the general global health community. The meeting discussed concrete actions and recommendations to the G20 ahead of the remaining ministerial meetings for 2022.
On the second day of the summit, Nick Herbert (Lord Herbert of South Downs), Global Co-Chair of the Global TB Caucus and Member of the House of Lords, gave a speech which was focused on pressing global health issues: looking at health in the digital age, antimicrobial resistance, and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
During the session, he pointed out that efforts towards a thorough and committed political response need to be continuously made within the G20. The Caucus also celebrates India’s commitment to champion TB and cervical cancer within the health sphere, as the incoming 2023 G20 Presidency holder.
COVID-19 has taught the world that health is a global issue with no borders, and that no country is immune to health crises. Over the past 2 years, governments, stakeholders, and the public have realised the importance of health surveillance, research and development, and strengthening health systems for countries to prepare for current and future pandemics.
Lord Herbert brought participants’ attention to the lack of adequate financing in the fight against epidemics such as TB, which is the largest barrier in making progress against these diseases. It is estimated that the world needs at least $13 billion in 2022 and $19.6 billion annually from 2023-2030 to end the TB epidemic. With only $5.3 billion invested by countries in 2021, as WHO monitoring of the financial TB response notes, we understand that global investments need to increase fourfold by 2023.
In his conclusion, Lord Herbert emphasised that all partners need to renew support for the United Nations High Level Meeting on TB in 2023, to reaffirm commitments to the targets agreed upon in the previous Political Declaration of the High Level Meeting, and get the world back on track to meet the 2030 End TB targets. Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen international ties and work together to ensure a holistic, financed, accountable, and sustainable response to TB.
Discussions from the panels and fireside chats over the two days of the Summit were compiled into a “Call to Action”, which will then be reflected in the G20 Leaders, Health Ministers and Finance Ministers’ Declarations. These will galvanise public policy responses to the challenge of preparing for new health emergencies, while dealing with existing health issues.
Photo credits to the H20 Summit Official Photography
For more information about the Summit, visit https://h20annualsummit.com/