Foreign Affairs Committee publishes ICAI evidence on global health security

15 Jan 2021

A new paper from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) about the role of UK aid in preventing global health crises has been published by Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

The evidence note – produced to support the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) role in delivering the Prime Minister’s vision of a “new global approach to health security” – draws on a number of past ICAI reviews, summarising how UK aid supports global health security and identifying important issues for further consideration.

The note reiterates the need for a refreshed global health security strategy, as recommended in ICAI’s 2018 Global Health Threats review. The government has started work on a strategy but it has not yet completed or published it. The note also looks at the UK’s support for the multilateral global health system and cross-government coordination and capacity.

The note highlights five outstanding issues that may be useful for the Committee to explore, including progress on the new global health security strategy; whether the scale of investment is commensurate with the threat; whether departments are undertaking regular risk assessments, scenario-based planning and simulations; leadership and cross-government structure; and potential implications of a new National Institute for Health Protection for the work on building epidemic preparedness in developing countries.

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