June 16, 2015
New Countdown analysis shows RMNCH aid flows up in 2011-2012
June 16, 2015
A new analysis by Countdown’s Finance Working Group, published in The Lancet Global Health, shows that official development assistance (ODA) to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH), from all donors to all countries worldwide, increased by 10.8% from 2010 to 2011, and by another 5% from 2011 to 2012, in contrast to a reduction in overall ODA+ in 2011 and only a marginal overall increase in 2012. While this increase in RMNCH funding is encouraging, the authors wrote, continued increases are needed to accelerate progress towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5 and beyond.
This new research was conducted and published by a team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine that included Leonardo Arregoces, Dr. Felicity Daly, Catherine Pitt, Justine Hsu, Dr. Melisa Martinez-Alvarez, Dr. Giulia Greco, Prof. Anne Mills, and Dr. Josephine Borghi, together with Prof. Peter Berman of the Harvard School of Public Health, co-chair of Countdown’s Finance Working Group. For the first time, the group’s new analysis examined both official development assistance (ODA) and grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which they collectively term ‘ODA+’) in relation to the continuum of care for RMNCH.
The group’s research showed that ODA+ to RMNCH from all donors to all countries worldwide amounted to US$12.2 billion in 2011 and $12·8 billion in 2012. ODA to RMNCH from the 31 donors that have reported consistently since 2003, to the 75 Countdown priority countries, saw a 3.2% increase in 2011 relative to 2010 ($8.3 billion in 2011), and an 11·8% increase in 2012 relative to 2011 ($9.3 billion in 2012). ODA to RMNCH projects has increased with time, whereas general budget support has continuously declined.
The Countdown study noted increased funding to family planning, nutrition, and immunization projects, and highlighted a 34-fold increase since 2003 in ODA+ funding for projects that have newborns as part of the target population. Historically, newborn survival has received insufficient attention and funding, and in most Countdown countries newborn mortality has declined at a much slower pace than mortality of children over one month old.
Monitoring financial resource flows for RMNCH is a central part of the Countdown — determining the funding gap between resources currently available and the actual investments required to reach national and global targets, and holding governments and the international community accountable for investing adequately in the health of women, newborns, and children. This paper is the latest in a series of Countdown analyses of financial flows for women’s and children’s health that have been published in The Lancet and Lancet Global Health since 2006.