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Donor Funding for Health in Low- & Middle-Income Countries, 2002-2013

Introduction

As 2015 marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a transition to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community is taking stock of progress made in addressing global development issues as well as unmet needs looking forward. A key component in the effort to address global health challenges and fulfill the MDGs has been donor funding from governments and multilateral organizations. While domestic funding has increased, and in some areas now constitutes a greater share of the total available resources, donor funding will continue to play a significant role over the foreseeable future. As such, tracking donor funding for health in low- and middle-income countries is an important element for assessing progress and planning towards fulfillment of future goals. These analyses take on additional relevance following the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, where the international community worked towards the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

This report provides an analysis of Official Development Assistance (ODA) disbursements for the health sector provided by donors between 2002 and 2013, as reported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member governments and multilateral organizations,1,2,3 and serves to complement efforts by others in the field.4 While 2013 is the most recent year for which standardized donor data, disaggregated by sector, are available, several other analyses provide an indicator of how it may fare in 2014 and beyond. For example, the OECD recently reported that overall ODA in 2014 remained essentially flat compared to 2013.5 In addition, a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS found that donor funding for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries remained roughly flat between 2008 and 2013, while other Kaiser analyses show increases in donor funding for family planning and malaria. Whether or not the health sector as a whole demonstrates similar trends or experiences any downward effects beyond 2013 remains an open question.

Box 1: Definition of Health
ODA is categorized by the OECD into sectors and subsectors based on the specific area being targeted. In order to capture total ODA funding for “health,” this report combines the “Health” and “Population Policies/Programs and Reproductive Health” sectors, which represent the OECD DAC statistical definition of “aid to health,” and the “Other Social Infrastructure and Services – Social Mitigation of HIV/AIDS” subsector, a relatively new category in the OECD CRS database.
See the Methodology and Annex 2 below for more information.
Executive Summary Detailed Findings

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.