External assistance to the health sector in developing countries: a detailed analysis, 1972-90.Bull World Health Organ. 1994; 72(4):639-51.BW
This study, which was conducted for the World Bank's World development report 1993: investing in health, provides an objective analysis of the external assistance to the health sector by quantifying in detail the sources and recipients of such assistance in 1990, by analysing time trends for external assistance to the health sector over the last two decades, and, to the extent possible, by describing the allocation of resources to specific activities in the health sector. The main findings of the study are that total external assistance to the health sector in 1990 was US$ 4800 million, or only 2.9% of total health expenditures in developing countries. After stagnation in real terms during the first half of the 1980s, health sector assistance has been increasing since 1986. Despite their small volume, external assistance at the margins may play a critical role in capital investment, research and strategic planning. The study confirms prior findings that health status variables per se are not related to the amount of aid received. Comparing investments to the burden of disease shows tremendous differences in the funding for different health problems. A number of conditions are comparatively under-financed, particularly noncommunicable diseases and injuries.