Geneva Health Forum Archive

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Threats and Opportunities of Financial Aid for Health

Author(s): U. R. Laaser1
Affiliation(s): 1World Federation of Public Health Associations, Bielefeld, Germany
Keywords: Finance, Global Health

Our world is confronted with vital risks which can be categorized under the headings of global warming, global divides, global security and global health. To cope with such threats, financial investment is essential though not sufficient. I shall focus here on the monetary dimension. (1) The liberalisation of services from tariff and non-tariff barriers is likely to be advantageous as long as essential social services including the health sector are exempted even if provided in competition with other service suppliers. (2) The global financial crisis may still lead to cutting off essential spending for the poorest populations in order to meet debt payments. (3) The steep global gradient between rich Highly Developed Countries (HDL) and the poor Least Developed Countries (LDC) is well known. (4) The Monterrey consensus of 2002 reiterated the obligation of developed countries to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7% as ODA (art. 42) which is reached only by some smaller donor countries. (5) One of the obvious reasons for imbalances is the extreme fragmentation and therefore ineffectiveness of international aid. (6) Loans are mainly spent for experts and equipment from the crediting countries but have to be repaid from tax money later. (7) The Paris/Accrah indicators are not met. (8) The percentage of aid through bilateral channels against declarations has increased. (9) In developing and transitional societies coordinative capacities and competences are limited. In addition international and even more bilateral aid very often is disrupting coherent national development plans.


The concept of Sector-wide Approaches should be developed. II. A code of conduct for NGO’s has to be developed and enforced. III. A global awareness in the sense of a New Global Health is a first essential step.

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