Landmark contribution from public and private donors to kickstart GFF’s campaign to tackle COVID-19’s secondary health crisis

Landmark contribution from public and private donors comes as the governments of Canada and Senegal, along with the World Bank, announce co-hosting role to “reclaim the gains” and mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impacts Public and private donors committed more than USD 200 million to the…

May 21, 2021 - Last update: February 10, 2023

Landmark contribution from public and private donors comes as the governments of Canada and Senegal, along with the World Bank, announce co-hosting role to “reclaim the gains” and mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impacts

Public and private donors committed more than USD 200 million to the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) resource mobilization campaign to sustain essential health services in the wake of COVID-19 while bolstering fragile health systems for the roll out of COVID-19 tools.

The funds provide urgent support to countries experiencing up to a 25% disruption to health services, including access to childhood immunization programs, safe births, family planning services and child nutrition services. These disruptions have precipitated a secondary health crisis leaving millions of women and children behind and threatening to roll back the remarkable gains made in maternal and child health over the last decade. Without additional investment now, lives will be lost, and progress undone – hindering countries’ abilities to build human capital and recover from this health and economic crisis.

Ministers from Canada, Senegal, Netherlands, Norway, Nigeria, Ethiopia and many partners gathered at a virtual event, entitled Reclaim the Gains  to discuss the crisis, call for urgent action and pledge the following:

  • CAD 100 million from Canada, committed by Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development
  • EUR 10 million from Netherlands, committed by H.E. Kitty van der Heijden
  • NOK 300 million from Norway, committed by H.E. Dag-Inge Ulstein
  • Government of Senegal to co-finance GFF programs in Senegal and catalyze more domestic resources towards gender, education and health centered projects, committed by H.E Amadou Hott
  • USD 75 million from an international foundation remaining anonymous


Funds will help countries unleash more and better financing, reimagine the delivery of essential services, improve global health security, and reclaim the pre-COVID-19 health gains for women, children and adolescents – helping countries get back on track to reach the SDGs and achieve universal health coverage.


In March, GFF launched an urgent resource mobilization campaign to raise $1.2 billion by the end of 2021 to help countries protect essential health services for women, children, and adolescents, strengthen health systems as they prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 tools, and recover from the pandemic with greater resilience. This urgent call for funding is part of the GFF’s overall USD2.5 billion funding target for 2021–2025 that will enable the GFF to expand from 36 to 50 countries, contribute to saving an estimated 18 million lives, and mobilize nearly $53 billion in financing to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents by 2030.

The GFF is a partner in the ACT-Accelerator – a global effort to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines the world needs to respond to COVID-19. The GFF is focused on helping countries prepare for rapid, equitable, and safe delivery of vaccines and tools while ensuring continuity of essential health services. The GFF is also supporting global partners as part of the Generation Equality Forum to ensure that gender equality and the provision of sexual and reproductive health services are at the center of recovery efforts.

The GFF Trust Fund, directly linked to World Bank IDA and IBRD financing, creates a multiplier effect, by aligning domestic and international resources around costed national plans underpinned by priority reforms and innovations adapted to local contexts.


H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, said: “The Global Financing Facility can be proud of having invested in human capital in Africa, improving the lives of millions of women, children and adolescents around the world, including in Senegal. We are honoured to co-host the GFF 2021 Resource Mobilization Campaign and are delighted to register today’s first contributions from partners, showing the way to the international community to accelerate efforts amidst this unprecedented crisis.”


Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, Canadasaid: “This is a critical point in time. We all need to come together to make sure that the needs of women, girls and adolescents—who have borne the brunt of health service reductions—is a priority. This is our opportunity to fully resource the GFF to support essential services and address inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”


Ms. Mari Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy & Partnerships, World Bank, said: “To ensure that the impact of COVID-19 does not turn back the clock for women, children and adolescents, we must put them at the center of response and recovery, including by building better, more inclusive health systems. With its strong track record of success, the GFF-World Bank collaboration is fit for purpose to reclaim gains and accelerate progress by investing in the health of women, children and adolescents.”


H.E. Kitty van der Heijden, Vice Minister for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, said: “By supporting the GFF Partnership, we can protect, but also prepare a system that is both inclusive and responsive to the needs of people facing hardship and intense pressure. We need to continue to promote SRHR as a crucial part of Universal Health Coverage. In this way we can ensure countries can continue to deliver the sexual and reproductive health services that are so much needed – despite the pandemic. GFF is a key partner for the Netherlands.”


H.E. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway, said: “Since its inception, the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), has been a priority for Norway. Our investment, along with other partners, has created meaningful gains in health for women, children and adolescents in the world’s poorest countries. Now, as we focus on inclusive recovery, we believe it is imperative to support the GFF’s ‘Reclaim the Gains’ campaign so we can help countries to get back on track toward reaching the SDGs.”

Learn more about the Resource Mobilization campaign



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