Issue Deep Dive

EUI / Global Health

Last updated: April 20, 2023

ODA Spending

How much ODA does the EUI allocate to global health?

The EUI spent US$1.9 billion in ODA for global health in 2021, making them the 7th largest OECD DAC donor to this sector overall. This represents 8% of their total ODA.

The EU’s ODA for global health has increased in recent years, especially between 2020 and 2021 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

How does the EUI allocate global health ODA?

Bilateral Spending

98% (US$1.9 billion) of EUI funding for health in 2021 was channeled bilaterally, including US$976 million as earmarked funding through multilaterals. Overall, bilateral ODA spending to health, including direct bilateral and earmarked funding through multilaterals, has increased since 2018 and peaked in 2021 due to the response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Projects related to COVID-19 control (43%), infectious disease control (17%), and health policy and administrative management (9%) received the largest shares of the EUI’s bilateral health ODA in 2021. Funding for projects related to COVID-19 control increased by three times between 2020 and 2021; while funding for projects related to infectious disease control jumped by nearly 20 times.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

In 2021, the EUI contributed US$29 million in ODA to global health multilaterals (or 2% of total health ODA. Gavi was the only recipient of EUI’s multilateral health ODA in 2021, receiving US$29 million.

More recently, the EUI has made significant commitments to multilaterals, especially in the health sector. See the table below for a summary of the EUI’s recent multilateral pledges.

‘Break COVID Now’

Funding and Policy Outlook

What is the EUI's current outlook on global health ODA?

Health ODA allocations increased significantly in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Because of COVID-19, the EUI may reach its goal of spending 20% of the NDICI – Global Europe budget on human development. Approximately 10% is meant to go to education, leaving around 10% for other components of human development, including health and social protection. In addition to the EUI’s funding for global health, the current MFF also has a EUR5.1 billion ( US$6 billion) EU4Health program (2021-2027) of which a maximum of 12.5% of funding will go toward global health initiatives.

In November 2022, the EC released a proposal for its EU 'Global Heath Strategy' for 2022-2030. The strategy, titled Better Health for All in a Changing World, builds on the previous strategy from 2010 and aims to expand the EU's international leadership role in global health. It confirms the EU’s support for global health multilaterals, including the WHO. The three main priorities of the strategy include:

  • Delivering better health and well-being of people across the life course;
  • Strengthening health systems and advancing universal health coverage; and
  • Preventing and combatting health threats, including pandemics, applying a 'One Health' approach Member states and the European Parliament will debate the strategy in early 2023. The Swedish EU Council presidency is planning to hold Council conclusions on it in May 2023.

Key Bodies

Global health R&D is also important to addressing many of the global health challenges that disproportionately affect the world’s most disadvantaged people. For more information on how donor countries are supporting global health R&D across three main areas — 1) EIDs; 2) PRNDs; and 3) SRH — read the excellent G-Finder reports and explore the interactive data portal created by Policy Cures Research. Not all funding mentioned in these analyses qualifies as ODA.

Related Publications

Japan's revised Development Cooperation Charter: Adapting to contemporary challenges

A Reinvigorated UNGA

Addressing Compounded Challenges, Seeking to Craft Global Solutions

Bridging Development and Trade

Analyzing the Netherlands' new development strategy

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

Learn more about SEEK's work on global health

Kristin Laub

Kristin Laub

Kristin Laub

Kristin Laub

Explore other deep-dives