G7 Set to Promote Health Investment in Developing Nations; Private Sector Called on to Support Low-Income Nations

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The U.N. headquarters building in New York

The Group of Seven industrialized nations plan to establish a framework to encourage private sector investment in health in emerging and developing countries to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly meeting this week.

The Impact Investments Initiative for Global Health framework is aimed at mobilizing private sector funds to provide sustainable support for the health and sanitation sectors, in the wake of an aid shortfall for emerging and developing countries amid the pandemic.

The investments are expected to focus on areas such as immunization against infectious diseases and drug-resistant bacteria for which antimicrobials are ineffective; sanitation development; and improved nutrition.

To attract funds from companies and investors willing to make contributions to society, the G7 wants to ensure that the targeted investments are verifiable in terms of how they contribute to solving international health problems.

They plan to establish a secretariat in Japan that will aim to quantify the impact being made, for example, how much the investment in therapeutic drugs and vaccines reduces medical costs, and how many people are protected from diseases through investments in water and sewage system improvements.

The International Monetary Fund estimated in March 2021 that low-income countries would need about $200 billion (about ¥29 trillion) to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Observers have said that public funds alone may not be sufficient to provide continuous support.