INDIA - Country Strategy Paper2007-2013; Mid-Term Review, April 2010
The relationship between the European Union and India has changed substantially in recent years, from that of aid donor and recipient, to one of partnership with opportunities for mutual benefit. If India’s current economic growth continues, the demand for development assistance will go on decreasing. However, India has a population of more than one billion and is home to a third of the world’s poor. Unemployment is high, there are huge disparities in standards of living, and minorities continue to suffer from a disproportionate lack of basic services, such as elementary education, primary healthcare, or safe drinking water.
The EU-India Strategy Paper (2007-2013) responds to the major challenges of Health issues (Priority 1.2 is focusing on the “Support for Health-related MDGs (Millennium Development Goals)).
India has subscribed to the eight millennium development goals, of which the first five are directly or indirectly related to health. The European Commission has supported the initiatives of the Indian Government to improve the health sector, first with a sectoral investment programme from 1998 to 2005 and currently, from 2009 to 2012, with a budget support programme that addresses MDGs 4 and 5, respectively reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health. This, in addition to many smaller-scale projects of the European Commission and funds provided by the EU-supported Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, addresses the indirectly health-related MDGs, i.e. MDG 1 on eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, MDG 3 on promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and MDG 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Action in the health sector will continue to contribute to those MDGs.
The objective of the EU action on health will be to support implementation of relevant national policies to promote access to healthcare and enhance the quality of healthcare services in India. The aim will be to support India’s efforts and programmes to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and link the activities to eradication of extreme poverty and hunger and promotion of gender equality.
Improved delivery of healthcare services in India, in particular in remote areas and to vulnerable groups;
Increased efficiency and capacity of the health system and of the institutional framework for health;
Improvement in indicators concerning health-related MDGs, in particular the maternal mortality rate, the infant mortality rate and nutrition.
Technical cooperation with a view to improving management of healthcare, mainly for programme and financial management, maintaining and improving the health management information systems;
Support for development, implementation and enforcement of existing healthcare regulations;
Capacity-building for HR training and continued (e-) learning systems and, eventually, infrastructure and development of appropriate HR deployment systems in rural areas. Proactive supervision of enforcement of the existing earthquake-resistant building codes for construction of hospitals and clinics should be taken into account. Nursing and midwifery, in particular, will be addressed;
Development of public health faculties and, eventually, infrastructure to support health and nutrition related research.
Interventions and strengthened support for nutrition, with particular emphasis on the reduction of underweight children.
Prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, in particular through facilitating the implementation if international health treaties to which India is a party.