As a lower-middle-income country with a large, rapidly growing population, Nigeria is facing considerable pressure on how it provides and pays for health services for its people. Nigeria, which joined the GFF in 2015, has among the lowest per capita health expenditures in the world and spends less on health than other countries with comparable income levels. At the same time, domestic insurgency has left the country’s North East region a particularly fragile area, struggling with service delivery and health infrastructure, and leaving households with limited access to health and nutrition services.
The GFF Partnership Response
The GFF partnership supports the Government of Nigeria to increase and improve the efficiency of funding for the implementation of the National Health Act, and to reach the poorest and most vulnerable populations, through the expansion of the World Bank Nigeria State Health Investment project (NSHIP) into the conflict affected North East of the country, where historically it has been extremely difficult to provide services. The GFF is co-financing US$20 million to the project to improve and strengthen primary health care starting in three states and complement the Government’s funding for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). The GFF also provided a US$7 million grant for the World Bank Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria project to increase utilization of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years of age. Other partners contributing financing Nigeria’s priorities include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, Dangote Foundation, and Power of Nutrition.
The Federal Government of Nigeria established the BHCPF to increase funding for health and deliver a universal Basic Minimum Package of Health Services. The GFF partnership is supporting the country platform in delivering on its commitment and a growing number of development partners are considering co-financing the BHCPF, which in turn will help to increase harmonization and efficiencies in financing Nigeria’s health sector. In the conflict-affected region supported by NSHIP and other partners, several achievements were recorded in 2018, both in increasing access and use of health care services and in strengthening health systems. Services financed by NSHIP were expanded to 39 local government agencies serving 13.3 million people. With the expansion of the NSHIP into Northern, conflict-affected regions of the country, results from the 2018 DHS survey demonstrate that significant progress has been made in improving key health and nutrition outcomes.
More information on how Nigeria achieved results are available on the latest 2018-2019 GFF Annual Report.