New Approach Provides More Complete Picture of Donor Support for Key Global Health Issues
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
As the world’s leaders gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the Financing for Development Conference, a study published in The Lancet demonstrates that a new approach is needed for classifying funding that reflects the function the funding serves, rather than the specific disease or country. The study is the first in-depth assessment of how donor funding is spent on global versus country-specific functions of health.
The paper also presents an expanded definition of official development assistance (ODA) for health, which is used to identify important underfunded areas and could reshape how governments provide financial support for global health issues.
This new approach–developed by a group of leading global health experts and economists led by Dr Marco Schäferhoff, Associate Director of SEEK Development in Berlin, Germany– provides a more complete picture of donor support. It combines both financing officially reported as ODA for health with additional spending by countries on pharmaceutical research and development for neglected diseases that disproportionately kill the world’s poor, and breaks down this funding by function.
The analysis estimates that just 21% (US$4.7 of US$22.0 billion) of this funding in 2013 was devoted to global functions providing global public goods (eg, research on drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics), managing cross-border externalities (eg, preparing for the next disease outbreak and tackling antimicrobial resistance), and providing global leadership and stewardship. In contrast, 79% (US$17.3 billion) was disbursed for individual county support.