Global Action Plan (GAP)

“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages” (SDG 3). Health is firmly established in the 2030 Agenda as a prominent political, development policy and humanitarian priority for all countries. 

The Sustainable Development Goal on Health (SDG 3) comprises 13 specific targets relating to maternal and child health, communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancers and diabetes, to services relating to mental health as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, to the health impacts of pollution, traffic and tobacco consumption as well as the research and development of medicinal products and vaccines. Achieving SDG 3 relies on targets such as the expansion of universal health coverage, access to affordable, high-quality essential vaccines and medicinal products, sustainable financing, the provision of a sufficient and qualified health workforce and capacity-building to prevent and overcome health emergencies. 

Concrete measures are in place to implement SDG 3 in Germany:

  • Reduce premature mortality to 100 (female) and 190 (male) deaths, respectively, per 100,000 inhabitants by 2030
  • Lower the rate of juvenile smokers to seven percent, that of adult smokers to 19 percent by 2030
  • Stop the rise of obesity rates in juveniles and adults for good
  • Bring down the emission of air pollutants to 55 percent of the 2005 level by 2030
  • Meet WHO’s target level for fine dust pollution levels of no more than 20 micrograms per cubic metre of air ideally throughout Germany by 2030

Whether or not the targets are met is measured by various indicators and published by the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt). A positive development is the clear drop in the rate of smokers.

Global efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda

Internationally, many actors in the heavily fragmented health sector have already geared their programmes to implementing the 2030 Agenda, but have not yet coordinated these with one another. To be able to achieve the health related SDGs 2030, it is important that international actors cooperate more, exploit synergies and avoid duplication. In April 2018, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with Norway’s and Ghana’s heads of government, therefore wrote a letter to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, inviting WHO to work together with other international organisations to draft a Global Action Plan (GAP) for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All that breaks down what is to be achieved by 2030 into concrete time frames and quantitative targets to measure implementation progress and deficits, and enable timely course corrections.

The Global Action Plan (GAP) for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All was unveiled in September 2019 on the sidelines of the 74th  UN General Assembly in New York with Chancellor Merkel in attendance.  A special focus is on the improved coordination and cooperation among the 12 GAP signatories GAVI, GFF, Global Fund, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNITAID, UNWomen, World Bank Group, WFP and WHO at the global and national level.

In September 2020, WHO published the first progress report on the Global Action Plan (GAP) for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All.