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Overall funding for global health

After a dip in overall amounts of ODA to health between 2013-16, the UK’s total health spending has not yet returned to 2013 levels. Similarly, UK health spending as a share of total ODA has also declined significantly since 2013. It remains unclear to what extent the substantial cuts to the ODA budget, announced in July 2020, have affected the amount and share of ODA to health.

Multilateral funding

The UK Government is a consistent donor to global health multilaterals, such as UNITAID, WHO, UNFPA and UNAIDS. The UK is the third largest public donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and in June 2020, the UK Government pledged £1.65 billion to Gavi at the UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit.

Bilateral funding

One in every £4 of bilateral ODA to health is now dedicated to medical research, and bilateral ODA to SRHR has grown almost tenfold since 2010. However, the proportion of bilateral health ODA allocated to basic healthcare has almost halved since 2013 and the share of dedicated ODA for health personnel has remained woefully low.

Funding channelled to Southern actors

Aid channelled through international NGOs, or NGOs based in donor countries, occupied 93% of all NGO finance from the UK ODA to health pot in 2018. For the two years with available data (since 2017), 95-96% of health ODA to the private sector was channelled to private actors in the provider (i.e. donor) country.

Funding channelled to recipient governments

Parliamentarians from across all parties continue to demonstrate support for improving health in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, the International Development Committee and a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups across global health areas have consistently proven to be valued champions of the UK’s ODA to health.

Cross-government funding

Compared to 2010, when almost all health ODA was delivered by DFID, 2018 saw spending outside of DFID accounting for a fifth of all UK health ODA. This cross-government approach has been embedded through the merger of DFID with the FCO to create the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Publish What You Fund’s aid transparency review found that DFID and DHSC were the only UK Government departments ranked as ‘very good’ for transparency of aid spending.

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