Efficient Funding Saves Lives

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Posted on 10/3/2013
Mosquito nets for beds are distributed to families in Uganda.
Mosquito nets for beds are distributed to families in Uganda.

Despite breakthroughs in medical science and international investment, millions of children die every year from preventable diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS. One of the greatest challenges facing aid organizations and governments around the world is maximizing the impact of this investment and ensuring that as many lives are saved as possible. According to a recent report, this will be possible only if international funding for health care initiatives is spent more effectively.

Assessing the Impact

The report, titled "More Health for the Money," was published by the Center for Global Development's Value for Money initiative. Key findings of the report suggest that although levels of international funding remain high in the fight against TB, malaria and AIDS, monetary support must be allocated more efficiently to save lives.

International health care funding reached a plateau of $28.2 billion in 2010, with much of this funding being used to combat malaria, TB and AIDS, particularly in African nations. However, despite the amount of foreign assistance provided to the world's poorest countries, more than 3 million people die every year from these diseases.

The complexities of providing funding to overseas health care programs present funders with many unique challenges. Supporting disease prevention programs is not as simple as just giving money to a country where illnesses such as TB and malaria are prevalent. International regulatory mandates can conflict with the goals of a funding project, and financial incentives can limit the potential impact on children in need and their families. For these reasons, the Center for Global Development recommends that the foreign assistance process should be reexamined to reduce wasted funding and maximize the return on investment of international health care funding.

Direct Intervention

The needs of every country's populations are different, which makes funding health care a particularly complex challenge. To address these obstacles, the Center for Global Development's Value for Money initiative has identified four areas that could benefit from a more targeted and streamlined approach to foreign assistance: allocation of funding, design of contracts, collection of data on how money is being used to help families, and verification of support programs' effectiveness.

The Center for Global Development hopes to transform the way foreign assistance is used, but there are ways you can help, too. Sponsoring a child is one of the most effective ways you can help support a child and his or her family in one of the world's poorest countries. ChildFund's 75 years of experience working with children in need, as well as our partnerships with local organizations in the 30 countries we serve, help us allocate money to projects that will have the most positive impact on families.

Just $28 per month will allow ChildFund to provide a boy or girl with nutritious food, clean drinking water and access to potentially lifesaving medical care. In Liberia, malaria poses a serious threat to children's lives, particularly those living in rural areas where access to medical clinics is limited. Your support can help us provide the essentials a child needs to survive.

Another way you can help is by making a donation to one of ChildFund's special projects, such as providing chemically treated mosquito nets to families living in Kenya. Our goal is to raise $23,476, and since launching this project in November 2012, we have raised more than $10,000 thanks to the support of our donors. When funding of this project is reached, we will be able to provide nets that will benefit 2,850 children and more than 300 lactating mothers across the Embu region. These nets will save lives and reduce medical costs for families living in poverty, so please consider making a donation to this project today.