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Political Will, Investments In Education, Health Vital To Ensuring Equity, Addressing Poverty

Devex: Opinion: Building a shared future in a fractured world starts with education and health
Julia Gillard, chair of the Board of Directors at the Global Partnership for Education and distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general

“…[W]hat creates a shared future for a nation is to invest in its people. If you provide everyone with affordable health care and education, then you drive up economic growth and drive down inequity and poverty. In doing so, the damaging political and economic fractures in a society are reduced. … Investing in education and health is not charity. … The costs associated with inaction are as devastating as this return on investment is impressive. … In today’s world, the large majority of countries can actually afford to provide universal health coverage and universal access to quality education. It’s less a question of economics than of political will. For the few low-income or conflict-affected countries that can’t finance health and education from their own coffers, donor funding from multilateral organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Partnership for Education can help to strengthen health and education systems. … Changes of mindset, real commitment, and action are needed. With the necessary political will, we can accomplish the seemingly impossible, whether it is eradicating a disease such as polio or ensuring that every child has a good, basic education to prepare for a rich, meaningful, healthy life” (1/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.