About Us

UNDP and Health

In line with UNDP’s mission to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion, and consistent with the UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots, UNDP supports countries to implement large scale health programmes—including reaching some of the most hard-to-reach populations and strengthening institutions to deliver essential services in challenging and high-risk country contexts.

UNDP’s health partnership makes a powerful contribution to The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. In close collaboration with government, civil society organizations and partners, including the Global Fund and UN agencies, UNDP helps build Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH). This includes enhancing Legal and Policy Environments to tackle the drivers of ill health and sustain health responses. It also includes environmental sustainability, through innovative initiatives that embed sustainability into procurement practices and promote the use of Clean Energy, while also reducing the carbon footprint of health facilities.

Health and development are intrinsically linked.

UNDP is committed to the achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which reflect the increasing complexity of the health and development landscape, including widening economic and social inequality, rapid urbanization and the increasing frequency and impact of humanitarian crises. It highlights the need to adopt an integrated approach to health and development in order to ensure progress across the SDGs. This means using a strategic approach that harnesses key synergies across the goals and delivers shared gains. Health is one key area where successful outcomes can positively impact multiple SDGs. For example, good health can make important contributions to achieving gender equality and empowering women, reducing inequalities, providing access to justice and ending poverty and hunger; Similarly, advances in these areas can in return benefit health.

UNDP has an important role in supporting the achievement of specific targets within the SDGs such as:

  • By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases (SDG3).
  • By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status (SDG10).
  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels (SDG16).

Health is a priority in fragile contexts.

Countries in crisis or post-crisis contexts face significant capacity constraints. Resilient systems for health are especially needed where political turmoil persists and where natural disasters are most prone to strike. A targeted approach ensures the most vulnerable are reached. UNDP continues to work with governments to help focus on geographic areas where needs are elevated or where epidemics present a public health concern. More investments in health and community systems can ensure that those most in need receive the assistance integral to their survival and well-being.

Make zero discrimination a reality now.

Universal health coverage is unattainable when systemic discrimination persists. Since AIDS is a disease of inequality, socially marginalized communities are disproportionately affected. UNDP is committed to reducing inequality and promoting inclusion, and is working with partners to tackle stigma and discrimination and remove punitive laws to enable universal access to health and social services. As a co-sponsor of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) UNDP supports the implementation of the new UNAIDS 2016–2021 Strategy to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. The strategy’s focus on key SDGs (health, gender equality, inequalities, peaceful and inclusive societies, means of implementation) and the critical linkages between HIV, health (including sexual and reproductive health and rights), inequality, poverty and conflict are of particular importance to UNDP.

One of UNDP’s major roles in moving towards universal health coverage is in supporting the implementation of Global Fund grants in countries facing very difficult circumstances and serious capacity constraints ensuring that funds can reach all countries including those impacted by conflict. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) is an innovative public-private partnership that has played a crucial role in the world's efforts to respond successfully to the three diseases. In the 10 years since it was created, the Global Fund has raised over US$20 billion to co-finance large-scale prevention, treatment and care programmes in over 150 countries.  UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund is a powerful contributor to health-related development goals, through the key role it plays in supporting countries facing challenging circumstances to strengthen their institutions, systems for health and enable access to essential health services.