Foreign Aid Should Enhance, Not Replace, Domestic Health Spending In Developing Countries

A case in Uganda of a woman bleeding to death while giving birth “underscores an unintended consequence of global health aid,” a Globe and Mail editorial writes, adding that “in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, a reverse trend is under way; for every $1 of development assistance for health, governments have reduced their spending,” according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

“[I]n the world’s poorest nations, there are competing needs for scarce funds,” the editorial states, and “[w]hile donors cannot interfere with national budget decisions, they have a right to know how their money is being spent.” The editorial concludes, “Foreign aid for Africa’s struggling public health system was designed to enhance – and not replace – the provision by national governments of basic health services” (8/7).