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Policy Brief n°3: Health and Development

Published 2 September 2019 in Analysis

This Policy Brief summarises the important progress made on global health in recent decades, before examining the unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals on health, and the challenges for achieving the health objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, and finally how international health aid is evolving and the threats this investment faces for the future.

During the last two decades, significant progress has been made on global health. For example:

  • Life expectancy has increased by an average of 9 years in low income countries between 2000 and 2016.
  • Maternal and child mortality have been halved since 1990.
  • The infection rate for HIV has fallen by almost half (47%) over the last 20 years.

ODA is one of the key factors behind this success. The 2000s were a golden decade for global health aid, which went from 12 billion dollars in 2000 to almost 35 billion dollars in 2010.

Today, global health aid seems to have peaked at 37 billion dollars every year, or around a quarter of total aid provided by donor countries.

Health has long been a priority sector for French aid: almost 1 billion dollars (816 million euros) were dedicated to health in 2016. The Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria is the biggest recipient of this funding, receiving almost 360 million euros from France every year, which makes France the second biggest contributor historically to the Global Fund after the USA.

However, the priority given to global health in French aid now faces competition from other sectors emerging sectors such as education and climate change.

To learn more about changing global health aid flows, you can download our Policy Note in French here. An English translation of this and other Policy Notes is forthcoming.

Documents to download

Note d’analyse n°3 : sante et développement, rôle de l’aide publique au développement dans les progrès réalisés