How will global health financing change post-MDGs?

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 29 June 2015

A laboratory technician takes a patient’s blood sample to use for HIV testing at the Chancho health center in Ethiopia. The bulk of global health financing since 2000 was spent on efforts to curb the spread of HIV and make treatment for the virus accessible to everyone who needs it. Photo by: Ayene / UNICEF Ethiopia / CC BY-NC-ND

Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent since 2000 to tackle some of the world’s biggest health problems.

The bulk of global health financing was spent on efforts to curb the spread of HIV and make treatment for the virus accessible to everyone who needs it. From $1.4 billion at the start of the Millennium Development Goals, spending on HIV and AIDS shot up to more than $10 billion annually from 2010 to the present, peaking at $11.14 billion in 2013, according to the latest global health financing data released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Reducing under-5 mortality came in second. While nowhere near the levels spent on HIV and AIDS, funding to decrease child deaths has grown 8.3 percent annually since 2000. Spending to improve maternal health also grew, though pales in comparison at just $3 billion in 2014.

At $11 billion, HIV and AIDS continue to receive the biggest share of global development assistance for health. But in recent years, funding from the sector’s biggest donor, the United States, has been fluctuating — threatening the future of HIV and AIDS financing. Click here to view a larger version of the graphic.

The increases in spending for these three health problems are largely due to the MDGs, which brought the world’s attention to these global challenges — and the reason why advocates of neglected health issues are pushing for these concerns to be included in the post-2015 agenda.

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.


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