As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite, the EU has been stepping up its support for health systems across Africa. In countries like Burkina Faso, it has been using budget support as a key means of channelling that support.
In Burkina Faso, the EU’s current budget support programme for the health sector started running in 2016 and will end this year, by which time it will have provided up to €52 million in funding. It has a threefold aim. First, it pursues higher-quality healthcare in hospitals and other health facilities. Second, it seeks to improve access and continue providing free healthcare to children and pregnant mothers. And third, it helps the country’s health ministry better monitor the health system and make efficient use of budget allocations.
The results that EU budget support has helped achieve have been impressive. For instance, 11 million children benefited from free healthcare in 2018, up from 8.5 million in 2016. In the same year, some 60 000 children received Plumpy’Nut, a peanut-based paste, to help tackle severe malnutrition. Also in 2018, the country established its first National Health Insurance Fund. And in 2019, 15 million children and pregnant women benefited from free care.
To better respond to the crisis situation in the country, starting this year the EU is implementing a state and resilience building contract in Burkina Faso. Access to healthcare is vital to building people’s resilience, and so is at the heart of this new programme.
How budget support works
EU budget support favours true partnerships, in which we handle with our partner countries as equals. We accompany them in their reform process towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through a balanced and open policy dialogue, and reward performance when results are met. In this way, partner countries can take full ownership of their development policies and reforms and we can strive for more effective development cooperation.
In 2019, budget support accounted for around one in every five euros spent in EU development assistance – some €1.7 billion in all.