The global health crisis COVID-19 had an undeniable devastating toll, but also positive disruptions, including record investments and a massive increase in development assistance for health (DAH) across the board.
New research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that total DAH reached $67.4 billion in 2021 – an 8.6% increase over the 2020 total of $62.1 billion – due to a jump in DAH for “other infectious diseases” including COVID-19.
DAH encompasses many programs and activities such as diagnosing conditions, purchasing supplies (like mosquito nets), and treating diseases. Besides leading to a decline in air pollution, the pandemic led to the fastest vaccine development in history. This momentum in development assistance caused by the COVID-19 urgency must be maintained not only to lessen the coronavirus’s ongoing impact, but also to tackle other health challenges, and prepare for future pandemics. Investments made to support health systems lead to stronger health institutions which are as important to protect against a wide variety of diseases and conditions as the defense against the next pandemic.