Cooperation in the area of health


The countries in the region of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were the second leading beneficiaries in terms of volume of French donations of COVID-19 vaccines, behind African countries.
France has shared more than 24 million COVID-19 vaccines with ASEAN countries: Indonesia received 8.7 million (number one recipient of French donations worldwide), Vietnam 5.5 million, the Philippines 6 million, Thailand 3.2 million and Laos 500,000.

Most donations are made through the multilateral COVAX, but France is receptive to special needs of countries to which it responds, providing, where necessary, bilateral donations (donation of 2 millions paediatric Pfizer vaccines, for Vietnam).

France is closely following the creation by ASEAN of Centres for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED, ASEAN) as part of its response to COVID-19. Cooperation between the Prezode Initiative and ACPHEED centres will build bridges between these two programmes and identify opportunities for regional cooperation.

This project, which interests several other ASEAN partners (Japan and Australia particularly) could effectively be incorporated into the health component of the France-ASEAN Development Partnership and contribute to building pandemic monitoring capacities worldwide.

France supports the Indonesian branch designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to benefit from mRNA vaccine technology from the South African hub.

In order to help step up regional capacities of vaccine production, France has actively supported the launch in June 2021 of the first mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub at the instigation of the WHO and Medicines Patent Pool in South Africa: it provides €20 million under ACT-A. In addition to this hub, the WHO announced 15 spokes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which are all to receive technology from the South African centre. Indonesia is on this list and sought France’s support.

France is an active partner in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Southeast Asia and in Thailand in particular, as part of its important and historic contribution to the Global Fund.

Thailand was allocated more than $60.6 million from the Global Fund in 2020-2022 for action to fight HIV and tuberculosis and to implement resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSHs).

The Initiative programme, France’s indirect contribution to the Global Fund implemented by Expertise France, has provided technical assistance on a regular basis, particularly to the Thai National Coordination Body of the Global Fund. It also conducted four structuring projects for the Thai health system amounting to €6.4 million:

  • The M-FUND project to provide low-cost health insurance for migrants;
  • The strengthening of sexual and reproductive health systems for marginalized and undocumented migrants in Tak province;
  • Support for HIV counselling and screening in the provinces;
  • New strategy for tuberculosis screening, treatment and prevention.
    France, the second largest contributor to the Global Fund, provided €1.3 billion to the replenishment of the Global Fund in 2020-2022 and just announced a €1.6 billion contribution to the Global Fund for the period 2023-2025, 20*% of which will be made under the Initiative.

Thailand is firmly committed to following the One Health approach, to fight infectious disease and is a sensitive hub in that field for Southeast Asia.

Health-related cooperation between Thailand and France is extensive thanks to Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI) project “One Health in Practice in Southeast Asia” (more than 20 training programmes, support for 17 regional research projects). A dedicated French international technical expert was posted to the regional office of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, formerly OIE) in Bangkok, to help implement this approach in Southeast Asia in liaison with the WHO, FAO, WOAH, UNEP, which have their regional offices in Bangkok.

Prezode (Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence), resulting from cooperation between three French research institutions (INRAE, CIRAD and IRD) today has 160 partners (including 14 countries that signed the Declaration of Intent), and we are together building a high-profile international initiative to prevent zoonotic disease emergence and implement innovative methods to improve prevention and mitigate the risks of emergence.

Updated: February 2023