JOURNAL ARTICLE

Financing HIV programming: how much should low- and middle-income countries and their donors pay?

Omar Galárraga, Veronika J Wirtz, Yared Santa-Ana-Tellez, Eline L Korenromp
PloS One 2013, 8 (7): e67565
23861772
Global HIV control funding falls short of need. To maximize health outcomes, it is critical that national governments sustain reasonable commitments, and that international donor assistance be distributed according to country needs and funding gaps. We develop a country classification framework in terms of actual versus expected national domestic funding, considering resource needs and donor financing. With UNAIDS and World Bank data, we examine domestic and donor HIV program funding in relation to need in 84 low- and middle-income countries. We estimate expected domestic contributions per person living with HIV (PLWH) as a function of per capita income, relative size of the health sector, and per capita foreign debt service. Countries are categorized according to levels of actual versus expected domestic contributions, and resource gap. Compared to national resource needs (UNAIDS Investment Framework), we identify imbalances among countries in actual versus expected domestic and donor contributions: 17 countries, with relatively high HIV prevalence and GNI per capita, have domestic funding below expected (median per PLWH $143 and $376, respectively), yet total available funding including from donors would exceed the need ($368 and $305, respectively) if domestic contribution equaled expected. Conversely, 27 countries have actual domestic funding above the expected (medians $294 and $149) but total (domestic+donor) funding does not meet estimated need ($685 and $1,173). Across the 84 countries, in 2009, estimated resource need totaled $10.3 billion, actual domestic contributions $5.1 billion and actual donor contributions $3.7 billion. If domestic contributions would increase to the expected level in countries where the actual was below expected, total domestic contributions would increase to $7.4 billion, turning a funding gap of $1.5 billion into a surplus of $0.8 billion. Even with imperfect funding and resource-need data, the proposed country classification could help improve coherence and efficiency in domestic and international allocations.

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