Funding For NCDs Worryingly Low

Posted on: November 23rd, 2010 by Arogya World

On November 1, 2010, Rachel Nugent, Deputy Director of Global Health at the Center for Global Development, launched a new working paper with co-author Andrea B. Feigl on the scarcity of funding for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), though their incidence and impact have reached epic proportions around the world.

The news is mixed. In their analysis of donor spending on NCDs in developing countries, Nugent and Feigl found that though 60% of deaths around the world are from NCDs, and 80% of those occur in developing countries, less than 3% of overall development assistance for health in 2007 was dedicated to NCDs. Still donor funding for NCDs to developing countries grew by 618% between 2001 and 2008, in large part from private non-profit donors.

The authors predict a future of difficult choices for resource-poor countries that must contend with a large infectious disease burden at the same time that the incidence of NCDs is on the rise.

Non-profit organizations like ours and others in the NCD community all face a monumental funding challenge – How do we get donors to fund NCD programs in developing countries? We must collect startling, hard-hitting disease facts, and find emotional patient stories to tell, but they only go so far. We believe that it is analyses like those in Rachel Nugent’s important paper that will jolt donors into making responsible funding decisions. We appeal to private individual donors, foundations and governments to step up to the plate and support NCD prevention and control programs in developing countries in a significant way. Surely NCDs deserve more than the barely 3% they are getting?