[ EpiAnalysis ]

Donations for global health programs have risen from $5.6 billion in 1990 to more than $21 billion by 2007. Most of this global health aid comes from our contributions as taxpayers to government-based aid agencies like the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID):

Suppose we donate $1 of our taxes to a global health program. How much should we expect to actually make it into public health or healthcare services in the recipient country? If we look at the financial reports of leading non-profits like Doctors Without Borders, we see that about 85% of each donation is ultimately spent on healthcare (the rest goes to management and fundraising). But if we look at the OECD dataset describing government-based foreign aid, we find that only about 37 cents of every aid $1 given through government agencies actually makes it into the health budgets…

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