Tracking development assistance for health from India to low- and middle-income countries, 2009–2020

Published December 12, 2022, in PLOS ONE (opens in a new window)


Development assistance for health (DAH) is an important source of financing for health for many low-income and some middle-income countries. Most DAH has predominantly been contributed by high-income countries. However, in the context of economic progress and changing global priorities, DAH contributions from countries of the Global South such as India have gained importance. In this paper, we estimate DAH contributed by India between 2009 and 2020.


We leveraged data from budgetary documents, databases, and financial reports of the Ministry of External Affairs and multilateral organizations to estimate DAH contributions. The proportions of development assistance that go towards health in major recipient countries were estimated and reported by recipient country and year.


Between 2009 and 2020, DAH contributed by India to bilateral and multilateral partners totaled $206.0 million. South Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar received the most DAH from India. DAH contributed relative to DAH received ranged from 1.42% in 2009 to 5.26% in 2018, the latest year with country-level data. Health focus areas prioritized by India included technical training and innovation, health care infrastructure support, and supply of medications and medical equipment.


India is an important development partner to many countries–particularly to those in the South Asian region. India’s DAH allocation strategy prioritizes contributions toward neighboring countries in the South Asia region in several health focus areas. Detailed project-level data are needed to estimate DAH contributions from India with greater precision and accuracy.

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Moitra M, Patel NK, Cogswell I, et al. Tracking development assistance for health from India to low- and middle-income countries, 2009–2020. PLOS ONE. 12 December 2022. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277799.