The Heads of State of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation have commended the Health and Social Protection Programme for its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the D-8 HSP was established in 2018 in order to support Member States to improve health services and uplift living standards of their citizens by eliminating hunger, poverty and diseases in accordance with the UN SDGs 1, 2, and 3.
The commendation was contained in a statement in Abuja by Ndidichukwu Odoh, Strategic Communications Lead of D-8 HSP.
The Heads of State made the commendation rising from the concluded 10th D-8 Summit, with the theme: “Partnership for a transformative world: harnessing the power of youth and technology.”
They said their commendation was based on the programme’s ability to strengthen health systems, to be resilient enough, to withstand epidemic outbreaks in future.
Speaking at the summit, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said initiatives such as the D-8 HSP is commendable and play critical role in addressing health related issues and improvement of livelihood of citizens of D-8.
Buhari said the Nigerian Government, which is the host country for the HSP, will ensure the programme is provided much needed support to enable it achieve its mandate.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, emphasised the importance of solidarity and cooperation among member states in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying D-8 through the HSP should ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine access for all D-8 citizens.
Khan also implored Member Countries of the D-8 to mobilise resources for post-COVID-19 recovery programmes in the bloc, stating that adequate funding of the HSP COVID-19 intervention plan will have long-term economic impact.
Also speaking, HSP Global Director, Dr. Ado Muhammad, during his report presentation on progress made by the HSP at the summit, appreciated the Ambassador Dato’ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, for support and provision of enabling environment for the HSP to deliver on its mandate.
Muhammad said: “The HSP will in the next five years catalyze action for increased responsiveness, purposeful actions for health and well-being of D-8 citizens through its SET (Strengthen, Equity and Transform) flagship Programme.”
The summit, which held virtually started from April 5 to 8 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was centred on proper ways to enhance socio-economic, health and living standards of over 1.1 billion citizens of the D-8 countries.
NAN reports that the D-8 is an organisation for development co-operation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
NAN reports that the objectives of the D-8 are to improve developing countries’ positions in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level, and provide better standards of living.
The main areas of co-operation include finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.