Report finds funding for maternal and child health has stalled

September 21, 2012 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

Report finds funding for maternal and child health has stalled

Aid drops for first time since 2003 threatening progress on two high-profile millennium development goals

Sarah Boseley, health editor, Thursday 20 September 2012 07.13 EDT


Spending on maternal and child health has stalled, according to an expert analysis, raising concerns that efforts to cut deaths in poor countries to meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) may falter.

Figures from the Countdown to 2015 Group, a World Health Organisation and Unicef collaboration that is tracking progress on the maternal and child health MDGs, show a downturn in the total amount of overseas development aid earmarked for these goals between 2009 and 2010 – the latest year for which there is data.

“We have been tracking aid for maternal, newborn and child health since 2003,” said Justine Hsu, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, first author of the Countdown study published by the Lancet. “Every year we have seen a steady increase. This is the first time that we have seen a slight decrease, of 0.5%. It is a very slight decrease, but it equates to $32m.”

The increase in funding in the previous year was largely due to a few new donors, says the report.

“The 2008-09 increase, from $5,307m to $6,511m, was partly a result of six new donors in 2009 reporting disbursements and a large increase in contributions from the Gavi Alliance,” it says.

Looking at the 74 countries that Countdown prioritises as needing the most help, there is not a drop, but a slight increase, of 2.9%, in funding. But that contrasts with increases of 16% and 20% in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

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