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Health spending

MDG Target 4MDG Target 5 MDG Target 6

This analysis is based on the latest trends analysis of GSW data in the GSW 2015 report


Health is the most prominent sector in the MDGs, with three goals dedicated to health, on which progress has varied. MDG Target 4.A aimed to reduce by two-thirds the under-five mortality rate, but only a 50% reduction has been achieved. The MDG Target 5.A (to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters), and target 5.B (universal access to reproductive health care) will be missed by wide margins. Efforts to combat key diseases (Target 6) are mainly paying off, with a 25% fall in deaths from malaria, and lower new HIV infections, but many people still do not have access to anti-retroviral treatment.

What does the latest GSW data on health show?

  • No African country is meeting its targets.
  • 40% of all countries are meeting WHO per capita spending targets (US$60).
  • Average spending is only half the targeted level, and recent trends have been mixed.
  • Universal free health care will require an increase of US$50-80 billion, and a major effort to monitor spending split by disease and beneficiary group.
    • To read more about the Health sector findings in the GSW 2015 report herepdf.
    • To see what explains these trends, by understanding the financing behind them, including donor aid performance, click herepdf.
    • To see how accessible data are for this sector, click herepdf.