On June 28, 2021, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the online event “Deepening Cooperation on Health Policy in the Americas.” The panel discussed a new report published by the Inter-American Health Task Force, which analyzed the response to Covid-19 in the Western Hemisphere and identified recommendations to improve cooperation and coordination in health policies across the Americas.
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare fundamental weaknesses in political leadership, coordination, and health policy integration in the Western Hemisphere. The current geopolitical divides undermined the few mechanisms that were in place for effective cooperation on health governance. This white paper presented by the Inter-American Health Task Force, aims to understand better the lessons and challenges of the regional response to Covid-19 and appraise, in retrospect, how they were addressed and how they could have been addressed. The paper also makes specific recommendations. These recommendations are grouped into five areas geared toward improving cooperation and coordination in health policy to support regional Covid-19 response and recovery, as well as future health emergencies.