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Global health funding soars, boosted by unprecedented private giving
Date:6/18/2009

Well-heeled donors, private corporations and average citizens sending money to their favorite charities are changing the landscape of global health funding, according to a new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

The research shows that funding for health in developing countries has quadrupled over the past two decades from $5.6 billion in 1990 to $21.8 billion in 2007. Private donors are shifting the paradigm for global health aid away from governments and agencies like the World Bank and the United Nations and making up an increasingly large piece of the health assistance pie 30% in 2007. However, health aid does not always reach either the poorest or unhealthiest countries.

The study, Financing of global health: tracking development assistance for health from 1990 to 2007, appears in the June 20th issue of The Lancet and provides the first ever comprehensive picture of the total amount of funding going to global health projects. It takes into account funding from aid agencies in 22 developed countries, multilateral institutions like the World Health Organization and hundreds of nonprofit groups and charities. Prior to this report, nearly all private philanthropic giving for health was unaccounted for, meaning that nearly a third of all health aid was not tracked.

Overall, poor countries receive more money than countries with more resources, but there are strong anomalies. Sub-Saharan Africa receives the highest concentration of funding, but some African countries receive less aid than South American countries with lower disease burdens like Peru and Argentina.

Of the 30 low- and middle-income countries with the most illness and premature death, 12 are missing from the list of countries that receive the most health aid, including Angola, Ukraine and Thailand.

"With no one tracking this massive growth in spending, it's no wonder that some count
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Contact: Jill Oviatt
oviattj@u.washington.edu
206-897-2862
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing
Source:Eurekalert

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