HME “Financing Global Health 2013” brings good news for Women and Children – but there is no time for complacency


Flavia Bustreo and Jane Thomason -

Originally published in the Global Policy Journal

In this GP response, Flavia Bustreo and Jane Thomason review 'Financing Global Health 2013: Transition in an Age of Austerity'.

Despite gloomy predictions and a period of global donor “belt tightening”, the latest Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation IHME report, 'Financing Global Health 2013 Financing Global Health 2013: Transition in an Age of Austerity' brings better news than many expected. Development Assistance for Health (DAH) remained steady, with a 3.9% growth from 2012 to 2013.

The report confirms, as many have been predicting, important shifts in the sources of DAH. Bilateral aid agencies share of DAH has diminished, contributions from World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction have peaked, philanthropy has increased, major public private partnerships (GAVI and the Global Fund) continued to expand, and growth in DAH from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), has also helped offset declines in spending by others. Domestic spending by governments dwarf DAH - countries spent 20 times more of their own resources on health than they received in assistance, and government health spending grew at a faster pace than DAH.

Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) has been a big winner in the 2013 report. DAH for MNCH grew substantially by 17.7% from 2010 to 2011, reaching $6.1 billion in 2011. This is good news, however, there is no time for complacency.