Viewpoint: A Fresh Take on the Global Health Financing Gap

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

By Brigit Helms, Chris LeGrand, Robin Young

The international development community increasingly looks to the private sector to fill financing gaps, and global health is no exception. But if we track private investment into emerging and frontier markets, we find that the vast majority goes to Asia — mostly Southeast Asia, China, and India, according to EMPEA’s 2018 Global Limited Partners Survey — and fuels sectors such as infrastructure, fintech, agriculture, and energy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that we need to triple global health funding to achieve our collective goals in this space — and USAID has even developed a roadmap to crowd in private capital to the sector. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation finds a $370 billion annual financing gap for health in frontier countries, especially Africa, between now and the Sustainable Development Goal target year of 2030.

Cause for concern? Yes. Cause for alarm? No, because the good news is that global health is attracting attention from private investors. EMPEA’s 2016 Global Limited Partners Survey ranked health care among the most attractive sectors for emerging market private equity, with more than 400 health care companies receiving private investment between 2011 and 2016, accounting for 7% of the total.

Photo courtesy of Nena Terrell.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
blended finance, development finance, global development, public-private partnerships