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Friday, December 15, 2006

Brookings Launches Global Health Financing Initiative with Gates Grant

The Brookings Institution launched a new global health financing initiative today, aimed at assessing mechanisms to fund health programs in poor countries and determining which could best increase and improve the impact and efficiency of global health financing. The initiative was established through a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant of $3.18 million over two years.

The new initiative will be led by David de Ferranti, senior fellow and former vice president at the World Bank. It will be part of the Brookings Global Economy and Development Program.

"As the world increasingly focuses on the nexus between health and global poverty-reduction, Brookings welcomes the chance to help determine which innovative ideas are likely to be most effective," says Strobe Talbott, president of Brookings. "We thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generous and far-sighted support that allows us to pursue this work on this crucial subject."

"While resources for global health are on the rise, current funding levels still fall far short of what is needed," says Joe Cerrell, director of Global Health Advocacy for the Gates Foundation. "We hope that this initiative will encourage new investments in global health by identifying some of the most efficient and effective ways to give."

Over the next two years, the global health team will evaluate current and potential health financing proposals in depth and issue practical recommendations on how to fill financing gaps through the use of public and commercial finance, aid programs and philanthropy. Innovative financing instruments will be assessed in terms of their capacity to increase net financial resources and improve health system performance in developing countries.

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