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$31.3B Spent on Development Assistance for Health in 2013

This marks the highest level of funds raised to date, but allocation not always aligned with need

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Disease burden, income, and funding levels are not always aligned in the allocation of development assistance resources, according to a study published online April 8 in Health Affairs.

Joseph L. Dieleman, Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues tracked development assistance for health for low- and middle-income countries. National income and disease burden were also assessed.

The researchers found that, for 2013, development assistance for health reached an estimated US$31.3 billion, in part from increased assistance from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the GAVI Alliance; and bilateral agencies in the United Kingdom. HIV/AIDS was the largest target of health assistance (25 percent), with 20 percent targeted for maternal, newborn, and child health. There was a significant association between disease burden and economic development with development assistance for health. However, many countries received considerably more or less aid than predicted by these indicators alone, with five countries receiving more than five times their expected amount of health aid, and seven others receiving 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," the authors write.

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