How does LACIF contribute to the reinforcement of health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Latin America adnd the Caribbean
January 15, 2024

The Covid-19 crisis demonstrated the crucial role of multilateral institutions on health, prosperity and security at a global scale and the relevance of international partnerships to respond to such an unprecedented global emergency. International cooperation and solidarity is key in building resilience for future pandemics which requires increased research and more investments in healthcare infrastructure, medicine production and institutional capabilities.

The European Union is conscious of the global needs in terms of health investments and has prioritised them in its Global Gateway strategy. The Global Gateway is the European Union’s contribution to narrowing the global investment gap worldwide, mobilising up to EUR 300 billion of investments for sustainable and high-quality projects, taking into account the needs of partner countries. One of the focus areas of this investment agenda is the promotion of a strong partnership on manufacturing vaccines, medicines and health technologies and strengthening health systems in Latin America. LACIF supports this goal through blending grants and technical assistance to leverage additional funding in order to improve health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • LACIF funds 7 projects to support health systems in The Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Colombia and Peru
  • The European Union has contributed over EUR 55 million through LACIF to improve health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, leveraging over EUR 1,4 billion in investments from its partners for these projects

Some examples of how LACIF is committed to the improvement of health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean are:

Support to the strengthening of three Cuban public health institutions: Cuba is known for its free public healthcare system, yet it faces a shortage of certain medicines and some medical equipment needs updating. This project upgrades and modernises equipment and ensures better preparation for future health crises and offers support for national research and laboratory activities particularly related to infectious diseases. This intervention is completely in line with the Global Gateway strategy as it prioritises the security of pharmaceutical supply chains and the development of local manufacturing.

Support to the health, social and economic response to the crisis related to COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic: the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak went beyond the health sphere and had massive economic and social shocks all over the world. This project has helped mitigate the immediate impacts of the epidemic by scaling up the national healthcare system and social protection measures in Dominican Republic, benefiting particularly low-income households and reinforcing the capacity of the national public administration.

Health services network strengthening in Jamaica: the project finances the construction and expansion of ten health centres and provides them with medical equipment. Moreover, the project focuses on primary health care services and preventive measures to lessen the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) on the Jamaican national health system. Compared to the advances against communicable diseases in the past decades, there has been inadequate progress in preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases, particularly in low and middle-income countries where delivery of effective NCD interventions remains an overwhelming challenge to health systems.

Strengthening the capacity of the health sector and migrants' access to health services in the COVID-19 context in Colombia and Peru: refugees and displaced persons face particular risks and are particularly vulnerable. Moreover, the large and sudden inflows of Venezuelan migrants and displaced persons in recent years in Colombia and Peru reinforced the pressure on these countries' health systems. These two projects support institutional capacities in health planning and management in order to provide health services to the waves of migrants from Venezuela, with an emphasis on women and their sexual and reproductive rights.

Furthermore, LACIF supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3, healthy lives and well-being, by investing in other interconnected sectors with direct effects on the improvement of the health conditions of the most vulnerable population such as access to safe water and sanitation, essential to good health and hygiene, or acces to electricity in public buildings and health facilities. LACIF projects also pay special attention to women, who are the most affected by crisis and also make up the majority of the world´s health workers.

You can learn more about LACIF projects and how they contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Project Section.