Health financing takes centre stage at Financing For Development Meeting
Addis Ababa, 14 July 2015- Leaders meeting in Addis Ababa Monday urged concerted continental and global efforts to accelerate efforts for accelerated domestic financing for health. The meeting also emphasised the continued importance of international support to Africa’s disease responses in the spirit of shared responsibility and global solidarity.
“The transformation of our economies and our countries will never be complete without claiming victory over diseases, particularly, the three big epidemics of our time – HIV, tuberculosis and malaria” said Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. “Our founders urged us to unite. To defeat these diseases, we must unite not only amongst ourselves but also with our international development partners in order to raise enough resources for the final push against these diseases”.
Significant progress, but challenges remain
Most African countries recognised and responded to the need to diversify and expand funding sources for health to reduce aid dependency. Between 2006 and 2011 global domestic investment doubled spending on AIDS, TB and malaria. In the last four years, African countries have increased their domestic resources to fight AIDS by 150%.
HIV treatment in Africa increased more than 100-fold with approximately 10 million people are now on treatment. Similarly malaria mortality rates declined by 54% overall and by 58% among children. Africa’s TB treatment success rate reached 86% in 2013.
However despite these historic gains, these epidemics are far from over. AIDS remains a leading cause of death in Africa, killing 1.1 million people on the continent in 2013. An African child still dies almost every minute from malaria. The TB response will need to reach about 1.3 million people in Africa.
Financing health and achieving Agenda 2063
Africa is finalising its long term development strategy, Agenda 2063 that will put Africa firmly on a path to sustainable structural transformation and sustainable long-term inclusive economic growth. Agenda 2063 lays out seven key priorities.
These are inclusive growth and sustainable development; an integrated continent; good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law; peace and security; strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics; people-driven development and a strong, united and influential Africa acting as a global player and partner. One of the key central enablers for Agenda 2063 is the need for inward looking in mobilising African resources to finance and accelerate transformation, integration, peace, security, infrastructure, industrialisation, democratic governance and strengthened continental institutions.
“Africa must move on a path to rapid industrialisation. Economic growth will result in more domestic resources being allocated to social service delivery including health” said Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
While development aid has helped it will not deliver sustainable growth and development results in Africa. The continent must continue to explore innovative sources of domestic finance for its development programmes and projects. Africa’s future lies in its ability to generate its own development finance. Africa is indeed responsible for a significant proportion of its development finance as more than $527.3 billion comes from domestic revenues compared to $73.7 billion in private flows and $51.4 billion in official development assistance.
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Mark Dybul the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
African Union Commission