Countries are making progress in transforming the health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Global Financing Facility (GFF) today released its 2018-2019 annual report, which shows how the GFF has expanded to support 36 countries in developing and implementing national, prioritized health plans that mobilize sustainable financing for health and nutrition – and improve health outcomes for women, children and adolescents.

 “This has been a landmark year for global health. World leaders and advocates have reaffirmed their commitments to ending the preventable deaths of women, children, and adolescents by 2030 and achieving universal health coverage (UHC),” said Muhammad Ali Pate, Director of the GFF. “We will do this by strengthening primary health care, and closing the enormous global financing gap to achieve health and well-being for all. With more than $1 billion raised at the GFF replenishment event in Oslo a year ago, and GFF’s expansion to 36 countries in May, we are making solid progress to achieving UHC.”

“Creating systemic change in health will take time and requires the long-term commitment of governments and partners – but each year we work together, we see more progress and impact across the board,” said Monique Vledder, Practice Manager of the GFF Secretariat. “A third of the 36 countries working with the GFF are classified as fragile and conflict-affected. They have some of the highest maternal, newborn, child and adolescent mortality rates in the world, as well as some of the highest fertility and adolescent pregnancy rates. So to see that neonatal and under-five mortality has decreased in all 27 of the first countries to work with the GFF, is very encouraging.” 

The GFF, which was founded in 2015 to work with governments in low- and lower-middle-income countries to transform how they prioritize and finance the health and nutrition of their people, assesses progress and impact across a number of metrics. Increased and more efficient health financing, prioritization of cost-effective investments across the life cycle, and better health outcomes are critical. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • Mozambique’s Ministry of Economy and Finance reported that domestic health expenditures was 9% of total government expenditure, and is on track to achieve its 2021 commitment of 9.5%.
  • An additional 3.6 million children in Mozambique received basic nutrition services between 2017-2018.
  • In Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 2016 to 2018, the national budget’s allocation to health rose from 7.0% to 8.5% – putting the DRC on track to reach its target of 10% by 2022.
  • Kenya is mobilizing and using domestic resources for health and in all 47 counties, local governments increased allocations to health to at least 20% of budget in FY2018/19, with some allocating more than 30%.
  • In Kenya, 48.6% of pregnant women attended at least four antenatal care visits in 2018 – up from 39.1% in 2015. In the same period, the share of deliveries by skilled birth attendants increased from 56.9% in 2015, to 65.0% in 2018
  • In Ethiopia over the last three years, the number of deliveries attended by skilled birth providers increased from 28% in 2016 to 50% in 2019, while the number of pregnant women receiving at least 4 antenatal care visits increased from 32% to 41%.
  • In Tanzania, antenatal care improved in all 26 regions between 2014 and 2018 with an average of 35.8% of women receiving at least 4 antenatal care visits in 2014 compared to 64.1% in 2018, and the share of births at a health facility rose from 67.0% in 2014 to 79.6% in 2018 Between 2016 and 2018, the number of facilities meeting quality standards increased ten-fold.
  • In Uganda, at the beginning of 2018 approximately 59.5% of births took place in health units. This rose to an estimated 64.5% by the end of that year. The government has also rapidly expanded strategic purchasing of a package of essential health services, and as of July 2019, 79 districts were implementing the program at scale.

The report highlights the most current and available information, data, and results from 27 countries that received support from the GFF partnership as of mid-2019. It showcases how countries are taking ownership of their development, financing, and results agendas and are leading the way to close their health financing gaps.

About the Global Financing Facility

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) is a multi-stakeholder partnership that is helping countries tackle the greatest health and nutrition issues affecting women, children and adolescents. The GFF Trust Fund is supported by the Governments of Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, and the United Kingdom; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Susan T. Buffett Foundation; the European Commission; Laerdal Global Health; and MSD for Mothers. The GFF supports governments to bring partners together around a country-led plan, prioritizing high-impact but underinvested areas of health. The GFF Trust Fund acts as a catalyst for financing, with countries using modest GFF Trust Fund grants to significantly increase their domestic resources alongside the World Bank’s IDA and IBRD financing, aligned external financing, and private sector resources. Each relatively small external investment is multiplied by countries’ own commitments—generating a large return on investment, ultimately saving and improving lives. Learn more: http://www.globalfinancingfacility.organd @theGFF

Contact: Christina Nelson, Global Financing Facility, +1 (202) 458-4372,