The UK Department for International Development - DFID
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) was established in 1997 with a mandate to meet the many challenges of tackling world poverty. It is currently led by Douglas Alexander MP, the Secretary of State for International Development. In 2008/09 the total DFID programme was £5,803m. Since 2004/05 DFID’s programme has grown by 51 per cent. This budget will increase to £9 billion per year by 2013 consistent with the UK’s pledge to allocate 0.7% of Gross National Income to Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 2008 the UK ranked as the third largest bilateral donor in net ODA.
The 2009 White Paper ‘Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future’ sets out DFID’s commitment to International Development. Low-income countries and particularly ‘Fragile States’ are priorities for DFID’s support and commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In support of the Health MDGs, the UK White Paper commits to provide £6 billion in support of health systems and services over the seven year period to 2015 and an additional £1 billion to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
In 2007, the UK led the launch of the International Health Partnership (IHP+). The IHP+ aims to achieve better health results by mobilizing donor countries and other development partners around a single country-led national health strategy, guided by the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.
Links to the health workforce crisis
DFID’s commitment to human resources for health (HRH) is evident in all its work. Signatories of the IHP+ Global Compact are committed to “tackle the challenges facing country health systems – particularly having enough trained health workers, in the right places and with the motivation, skills, equipment, commodities and medicines to do their work”. The 2009 Consensus on Maternal Newborn and Child Health makes explicit reference to the same principles. The High Level Task Force on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems announced over £5 billion in new funds in September 2009, contributing to the funding needed for over 1 million extra health workers. Country activities include financial and technical support to the development and implementation of national HRH plans as a critical component of national health plans.
DFID joined the Alliance in 2007 as a development Partner.
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