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Spring Meetings 2016, Health, Nutrition and Population Recap

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Dear Colleagues,

I want to take a moment to thank you for your engagement with us at the 2017 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. Your strong participation helped ensure that health, nutrition and population and human development more broadly find their rightful place at the epicenter of the conversation.

Attached is a snapshot of all of the health-related events and convenings at the meetings. We are grateful and proud of what we have been able to accomplish together to move forward towards our common goal of Universal Health Coverage, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
In partnership,


Global Health at the 2017 Spring Meetings

Human Capital Flagship: Generation Now:  Investing in Adolescents Today to Shape the World of Tomorrow


This Human Capital flagship event, put on by Human Development Vice Presidency in partnership with the Global Financing Facility (GFF) on April 20, was a platform for global influencers and country leaders to come together to push for urgent investment in the largest-ever cohort of 1.2 billion adolescents worldwide. The high-level panel was kicked off by WBG President Jim Yong Kim and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who emphasized why investing in adolescents, especially girls, is key to sustainable development and our collective economic future. Canada’s Minister of International Development and Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau and Mozambique’s Minister of Health, Nazira Abdula both highlighted the key role of the GFF in furthering this agenda, while Amb Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, emphasized that today’s adolescents in Africa will shape the continent’s potential demographic dividend. Saba Ismail, who founded  Aware Girls in Pakistan at age 15, brought the youth perspective, citing especially the importance of girls’ education. Check out more about this event below.

Livestream /  Photos /  Event Key Takeaways

Spotlight On Nutrition:  Unlocking Human Potential and Economic Growth

Co-hosted by the World Bank and DFID, this event featured a diverse panel which called out nutrition as a foundational investment for development.  WBG President Jim Yong Kim and DFID’s Mark Lowcock opened the event, with President Kim emphasizing that nutrition is key to the success of the early years agenda, and citing the successes of Senegal, Peru, and Bangladesh as proof of what countries can accomplish with the right level of commitment. Ratan Tata, leading industrialist from India and now Chairman of Tata Trusts, focused on how the private sector can help to address malnutrition through innovation, while Nigerian Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun and Julio Hector Estrada, Minister of Public Finance of Guatemala, each shared their different approaches to addressing high rates of malnutrition concerns in their countries. Melinda Gates shared a supportive video message and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, renowned South African singer and nutrition advocate, closed the event with a strong call to action and a moving song.

Livestream /  Photos /  Event Key Takeaways /  “One Girl. Two Lives” Video

2nd Annual Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Financing Forum

This two-day forum, co-hosted by the World Bank (HNP) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), brought together over 400 participants, including over 30 country delegations from Ministries of Health and Finance in lower and lower middle-income countries. Focused on the theme of efficiency, it highlighted strategic policies and practical interventions that help governments use their health system resources and budgets more efficiently. Forum highlights included the "Speaker's Corner," where top policymakers described their efficiency-related priorities, an interactive lunch session on ideas and actions to harness innovation, and plenary debates exploring key themes and obstacles to achieving value for money.  The Forum also featured the launch of  Healthy Systems for Universal Health Coverage, a joint vision for stronger health systems co-developed by Germany, Japan, WBG and WHO.
Event Website /  Key Takeaways

Partners’ Roundtable on Investing in the Early Years: Identifying Synergies and Catalyzing Action

This closed Human Development roundtable event gathered nearly 30 leaders from development agencies, civil society organizations, foundations, and the business community to help sustain the momentum created by country commitments on the Early Years agenda at the Annual Meetings in October 2016.  It was opened by WBG President Jim Yong Kim, who set the stage for partners to share their perspectives and concrete commitments to action. Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati provided a client’s perspective of what is needed from partners and Tony Lake, Executive Director for UNICEF, led the partner interventions.

Livestream /  Photos

Tobacco Taxation: A Win-Win for Public Health and Resource Mobilization 

Delegations from Ministries of Finance and Health from 35 countries, representatives from regional economic and political blocks and partner organizations joined this two day forum.  They shared their implementation experiences in designing tobacco tax policies that address the dual goals of reduced tobacco use and domestic resource mobilization to expand fiscal space to fund priority investments and programs that benefit the entire population.
More Information

The Development Impact of Engaging Religious Leaders on Reproductive Health and Rights 

This by-invitation only panel discussion highlighted the importance and impact of engaging local communities and religious leaders to promote healthy and empowered reproductive health choices for women and girls. Moderated by Amatalalim Ali Mohamed Al-Soswa of the World Bank Group, it featured Yahya Abd Dayem, Director General of Political and Strategic Development for Mauritania’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development as well UNFPA’s Deputy Executive Director Natalia Kanem and youth advocate Dalia Mohammed. The event was chaired by Tim Evans, Senior Director, and supported by the Nordic Trust Fund. 

In addition, we also worked with partners on other key convenings:

The Global Health Leaders Meeting

The Global Health Leaders came together for their 11 th informal gathering on April 20, co-convened by the WBG and WHO.  They discussed key issues like next steps on UHC 2030, including the transformation of IHP+ into the UHC2030 platform, the  Healthy Systems for UHC paper, and plans for the upcoming UHC conference in Tokyo in December. They were also updated on transition financing and heard from the Interagency Supply Chain Group. This meeting was the last one chaired by Dr. Margaret Chan as Director-General of WHO, and was followed by a reception in her honor. 

Global Financing Facility (GFF) 

The GFF hosted several events during the Spring Meetings: a GFF Learning Workshop on April 18 and 19, as well as meetings with the Investor’s Group and Trust Fund Committee.  The GFF was also featured at the Human Capital Flagship event on Adolescents and discussed during several sessions of the UHC Financing Forum.

UHC Stakeholders' Meeting

The government of Japan, JICA, WHO, and UNICEF together with the WBG, took stock of progress to promote UHC, pandemic preparedness and especially their in-country collaboration on the UHC agenda. Planning also began for the upcoming UHC Day Forum in Japan in December, which will help build strong political momentum for UHC and highlight countries which have made extraordinary progress towards UHC.

Civil society engagement at the Spring Meetings

Health was prominently featured at the  Civil Society Policy Forum during the Spring Meetings. In addition, HNP leadership engaged with civil society during a packed health-focused event, featuring robust dialogue on a range of issues including financing UHC, the GFF, implementation by HNP of the WBG gender strategy, and pandemic preparedness.

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