Global Financial Crisis and Health Impacts in Asia and the Pacific

The Regional Committee,

Noting that focused and concerted action in response to the financial crisis and economic downturn is necessary to maintain and improve health and accelerate socioeconomic development;

Recognizing that all countries and partners are willing to support action to protect population health as a fundamental condition for economic development and poverty reduction;

Recognizing further that there is a need to maintain or increase health investments and public spending to strengthen health systems and to scale up essential health interventions benefiting the poor and vulnerable;

Acknowledging that the crisis requires global solidarity and action to protect lives and livelihood,

1. URGES Member States:

(1) to continue to advocate at the highest political decision-making levels for sustained investment in health and development during the financial crisis and economic downturn;

(2) to review and revise, as appropriate, health financing policies to improve access to health care for the poor and vulnerable;

(3) to implement pro-health and pro-poor policies based on primary health care principles;

(4) to continue monitoring the possible health impact of the crisis, including health outcomes, availability of resources for health, utilization of services, health care costs for households, and the consumption and prices of the inputs such as medicines;

2. REQUESTS the Regional Director:

(1) to continue to provide support to countries in strengthening health systems and policies for protection of the poor and vulnerable;

(2) to promote awareness of the potential health impact of the global financial crisis and the importance of investments in health for economic development;

(3) to collect and share evidence on the impact of the financial crisis and economic downturn on health, in collaboration with Member States and partners.

Fourth meeting

23 September 2009

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