In Debate Over Aid Spending, Global Community Must Consider Cost-Effectiveness Of Investing In Prevention

Descrier: Keeping aid agencies on their toes
Margaret Koffman, freelance researcher and development consultant

“In its reviews of the country’s aid spending at the start of December, the British government awarded multinational aid organizations grades based on the ‘value for money’ they offer British taxpayers. … Britain might be among the world’s top donors, but the Conservative Party sees Britain’s charitable spending as a prime target for the chopping block. The [Multilateral Development Review’s] findings have already created consternation in the aid community. … While other aid spending questions may be earning more headlines, the debate between the WHO and the British health community over fighting growing smoking rates in sub-Saharan Africa is exactly the kind of issue where the British government can secure the most savings. … Dealing with tobacco-related illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease will divert already strained aid budgets away from the types of projects that can create long-term growth. Instead of financing durable initiatives, the global community will be called upon to deliver yet more band-aid solutions. This is the lesson global health bodies should understand: an ounce of prevention is worth millions of pounds in cures” (1/5).