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Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas High-level Meeting Outcomes for 2024

The Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas (EHA) was launched on the margins of the 9th Summit of the Americas in June 2022 by the U.S. Department of State. In 2023, the EHA held its first high-level meeting to establish the governance structure and approve scope of work. Since then, countries have organized 11 technical meetings and a first in person encounter in Uruguay at the end of 2023.

On the 11th of March of 2024, the 2nd annual high-level meeting of the EHA was held in the Dominican Republic with representation from 17 countries. Ministers and Vice Ministers from health, finance, economy, foreign affairs, and commerce agencies participated to include Ministerial-level participation from of the United States, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Mexico, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Guyana, Guatemala, Suriname, Panama, Colombia, and Paraguay, in addition to high-level representatives from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador. In addition to government representatives, leadership from regional technical organizations participated, including IDB Executive Vice President Jordan Schwartz and PAHO Deputy Director Mary Lou Valdez. Representatives from ECLAC, USAID, USTDA, U.S. Department of Commerce, and CDC were also in attendance.

What were the main agreements and outcomes of the 2nd Annual EHA High-Level Meeting in the Dominican Republic?

  • Countries reaffirmed EHA’s commitment to strengthen health systems and economic resilience to emergencies in the region. Paraguay, Uruguay, Bahamas, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, and Chile affirmed their commitment to co-lead EHA technical working groups. Panama was praised for their leadership as co-chair of EHA along with United States.
  • PAHO announced the launch of their Public Finance Management tool. The tool will enable countries to conduct analysis of fiscal space for the health sector to support responsible spending as well as sustainable and equitable public health financing. PAHO has committed to the goal of two countries applying the tool in 2024-2025. Several countries expressed interest at the meeting. The work supports the “Smart Spending” workstream.
  • PAHO committed to use the Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF) assessments from 14 countries to produce a policy document that would establish shared priorities and identify institutional capacity gaps across the region that will require future investment to fill, with a sub-regional focus on Caribbean countries. This work will support the workstream on Prioritization of Health Sector Transformation, which is led by the Bahamas. The Bahamas announced the completion of their EPHF assessment at the meeting.
  • Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Chile committed to apply the IDB’s Maturity Assessment Tool (MAT) to measure the capacity of social protection systems to respond to emergencies. Countries like Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Paraguay outlined some of the best practices around social protection during COVID-19, as well as lessons learned from other sectors and emergency response scenarios. The goal for 2024 will be to explore potential regional agreements to coordinate increased preparedness and responsiveness to future crises in the region. This work supports workstream on Responsive Social Protection.
  • EHA countries announced commitment to conduct a pharmaceutical mapping exercise and prepare a regional strategy for nearshoring of critical inputs and consumables. EHA members short-listed mRNA vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and antimicrobials, including for malaria and tuberculosis, as priority products for the 2024-2025 analysis. The United States committed to support this analysis in coordination with co-leads Argentina and Peru. Argentina affirmed their commitment to conduct a regional Private-Public Partnership analysis. This work supports the Resilient Supply Chain workstream.
  • USAID shared progress on the Americas Health Corps initiative, announcing the training of 120,000 healthcare workers in the region thus far.
  • USAID also announced funding for a market analysis of the current capacity within the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to produce or manufacture vaccine countermeasures for emerging threats, endemic diseases, and local priorities relevant to the regional market. The EHA platform committed to supporting the implementation of recommendations from the analysis.
  • EHA members approved the work plan for 2024-2025 and committed to a mid-year high-level meeting to review progress.
  • EHA members recognized the importance of digital health and utilization of technology in the public health system and proposed establishing a new EHA workstream on technology and health. The EHA Executive Technical Working Group will develop a scope of work for this proposed workstream with the goal of launching it in 2024.

For further information, please contact [email protected], or visit the EHA website: https://www.iadb.org/en/home/economic-and-health-dialogue-americas .

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/economic-and-health-dialogue-of-the-americas-high-level-meeting-outcomes-for-2024/

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