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Despite economic slump, donors give generously to global health, though at a slower rate
Date:11/30/2010

SEATTLE The worst global economic crisis in decades has not stopped public and private donors from giving record amounts of money to health assistance for developing countries, according to a new report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

The research shows that development assistance for health has grown 375% from $5.66 billion in 1990 to $26.87 billion in 2010. However, IHME's preliminary estimates show that the growth rate is slowing. Between 2004 and 2008, the period of the most dramatic increases in health funding, assistance grew by an annual average of 13%. But between 2008 and 2010, the rate of growth was cut by more than half to 6% annually. Most health funding has gone to the countries with the greatest need, but researchers found striking anomalies, including the fact that 11 of the 30 countries with the highest number of people suffering from disease and high mortality receive less health funding than countries with stronger economies and lower disease burdens.

The report, Financing Global Health 2010: Development assistance and country spending in economic uncertainty, will be released today at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. It provides a comprehensive picture of the total amount of health funding between 1990 and 2008 from aid agencies and governments in 23 developed countries, multilateral institutions such as the World Health Organization, and hundreds of nonprofit groups and charities. In addition, IHME developed new analytical methods that draw on government budgets, expenditure patterns, and data from funders to make preliminary estimates for 2009 and 2010, overcoming a two-year lag in the reporting of health assistance.

"Everyone in the global health community is worried about how the economic crisis is going to affect giving. We knew we couldn't wait for two years to find out," Dr. Murray said. "Research has shown that economic downturns don't usually have an
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Contact: Jill Oviatt
oviattj@uw.edu
206-861-6684
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Source:Eurekalert

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