The Health and Social Protection Programme (D-8 HSP) of the Developing-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) has been commended by the Heads of State of D-8 for proactively responding to COVID-19 pandemic and the initiative of the HSP to strengthen health systems to be resilient enough to withstand epidemic outbreaks in the future.
The commendation was made at the just concluded 10th D-8 Summit, themed, “Partnership for a transformative world: harnessing the power of youth and technology”.
The weeklong summit which ended Thursday, deliberated on the ways to enhance socio-economic, health and living standards of over 1.1 billion citizens of D-8 countries, a statement by the D-8 Health and Social Protection programme Strategic Communications Lead, Ndidichukwu Odoh noted.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Pakistan, Imran Khan, emphasized the importance of solidarity and cooperation among member states in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the D-8 through the Health and Social Protection Programme should ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine access for all D-8 citizens.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also implored Member Countries of the D-8 to mobilize resources for post-COVID-19 recovery programmes in the bloc, stating that adequate funding of the HSP COVID-19 intervention plan will have a long-term economic impact in the bloc.
Also speaking about the D-8 HSP, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, added that initiatives such as the D-8 HSP is commendable and play a critical role in addressing health related issues and improvement of livelihood of citizens of D-8.
President Buhari who was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, added that the Nigerian government which is the host country for the HSP will ensure the programme is provided the needed support to enable it achieve its mandate.
While presenting the progress made by the HSP to the 19th Council of Ministers, the HSP Global Director, Dr. Ado Muhammad appreciated the Heads of State, Ministers, D-8 commissioners and, the Secretary General, Ambassador Dato’ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, for the support and provision of enabling environment for the HSP to deliver on its mandate.
Dr. Ado Muhammad went on to commit that the HSP will in the next five years catalyze action for increased responsiveness, purposeful actions for health and wellbeing of D-8 citizens through its SET (Strengthen, Equity and Transform) flagship Programme.