Global Health Aid Continues To Grow Despite Recession, Report Indicates

“Spending to improve health in developing countries has continued to grow during the three-year economic downturn, although at only half the blistering pace it did a decade ago,” according to a report (.pdf) by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the Washington Post reports (Brown, 12/14). “The report details the trends in development assistance for health between 1990 and 2009 from aid agencies and governments in 23 developed countries, multilateral institutions such as the [WHO], and hundreds of non-profit groups and charities with preliminary estimates for 2010 and 2011,” an IHME press release states (12/14). “Overall, spending on malaria and child health problems has grown more rapidly in the past few years than spending on AIDS and tuberculosis,” according to the report, the Washington Post notes (12/14).

Development aid for health “more than doubled between 2001 and 2008, but the pace of increase dropped between 2008 and 2009 to three percent and has been four percent each year between 2009 and 2011, standing at a total now of $27.73 billion,” according to the report, Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley writes in her “Global Health Blog,” adding, “The U.S. contribution has increased too, but by two percent between 2010 and 2011 — effectively flat-lining” (12/14). “As increases in spending by ‘donor countries,’ such as the United States, have slowed, the World Bank has picked up the slack, lending large amounts of money to middle-income countries, in part as a way to counter the effects of the recession,” the Washington Post notes, adding, “Recipient countries have also increased spending out of their own domestic budgets” (12/14).

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