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Publication date: 
April 8, 2014


Tracking development assistance for health for low- and middle-income countries gives policymakers information about spending patterns and potential improvements in resource allocation. We tracked the flows of development assistance and explored the relationship between national income, disease burden, and assistance. We estimated that development assistance for health reached US$31.3 billion in 2013. Increased assistance from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the GAVI Alliance; and bilateral agencies in the United Kingdom helped raise funding to the highest level to date. The largest portion of health assistance targeted HIV/AIDS (25 percent); 20 percent targeted maternal, newborn, and child health. Disease burden and economic development were significantly associated with development assistance for health, but many countries received considerably more or less aid than these indicators predicted. Five countries received more than five times their expected amount of health aid, and seven others received less than one-fifth their expected funding. The lack of alignment between disease burden, income, and funding reveals the potential for improvement in resource allocation.


Dieleman JL, Graves CM, Templin T, Johnson E, Baral R, Leach-Kemon K, Haakenstad AM, Murray CJL. Global health development assistance remained steady in 2013 but did not align with recipients’ disease burden. Health Affairs. 2014 Apr. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1432.