Countries set to lose funding from global health organizations are not ready, ACTION study finds

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 14, 2017) – While at least 24 developing countries are at risk of losing funding from multiple multilateral institutions for key health programs simultaneously in the next five years, government and key stakeholders either do not believe or are not aware that these transitions are likely to take place. Additionally, despite their individual transition policies, there is little evidence of serious efforts by institutions like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI); or the World Bank, to tackle the multiplier effect of simultaneous transitions in a coordinated way.

These are the findings of a policy analysis with case studies from Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Vietnam, carried out by ACTION Global Health Partnership from April to August this year.

“This is a very sobering study,” says Hannah Bowen, secretariat director at ACTION. “Tremendous gains have been made in global health in the past fifteen years. If the transition process is not handled well, we could lose a lot of these gains and key populations, especially children, will again be at risk for preventable childhood illnesses.”

The report, Progress in Peril? The Changing Landscape of Global Health Financing, which will be launched in New York during the United Nation’s General Assembly, Sept.19, looked at Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Vietnam in various stages of transition. With a weak health system and significant inequities in accessing health, Côte d’Ivoire will need to dramatically increase investments before transition begins. Nigeria’s health system is also extremely weak and dependent on external funding. However, Nigeria faces accelerated transition from Gavi, and will also face transition from GPEI funding, likely in the next five years, posing significant risks to immunization systems and surveillance.

Already experiencing reduced access to external support, Vietnam faces transition from grant support by Gavi, reductions in the level of Global Fund support, and less concessional loan support from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). While Vietnam has made progress in expanding health care, key populations such as men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users, are at risk for a reduction in critical health services because of reduced external funding.  

“Among our key recommendations are stronger coordination from all global health stakeholders; multilateral institutions, bilateral donors, implementing partners, low- and middle-income country governments and civil society must work together to ensure that transition doesn’t result in less access to critical health services and poorer health outcomes. Countries that will face transition from multiple funding sources are particularly at risk, “says Heather Teixeira, lead author. This study is a call to action for the global health community.”

ACTION is a partnership of 12 locally rooted organizations around the world that advocate together to build political will and increase investments for global health. Our partners: Æquitas (India); CITAMplus (Zambia); Global Health Advocates France; Global Health Advocates, India; KANCO, Kenya; Princess of Africa Foundation (South Africa); RESULTS International Australia; RESULTS Canada; RESULTS Educational Fund (U.S.); RESULTS Japan; RESULTS UK; and WACI Health (Kenya).

For more information, or to be connected with our global network of health advocates:

Grace Virtue
Senior Advisor – Communications
+1 (202) 637-9600 ext. 123