Vaccinations children development aid Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images

De waarheid over ontwikkelingshulp

SEATTLE – De onlangs gepresenteerde begrotingsblauwdruk voor 2018 van president van de Verenigde Staten Donald Trump stelt grootschalige bezuinigingen op de Amerikaanse ontwikkelingshulp voor, wat een discussie heeft veroorzaakt over de rol van dit soort uitgaven in het verbeteren van de gezondheid en welbevinden van ‘s werelds meest kwetsbare mensen. Deze discussie is belangrijk omdat hulp, wanneer het aankomt op het reduceren van de grootste ongelijkheden op de wereld, er net zoveel– en misschien zelfs meer – toe doet als ooit te voren, om redenen die niet algemeen begrepen worden.

In de afgelopen 25 jaar hebben programma’s voor ontwikkelingshulp een tijdperk van ongekende vooruitgang in de ontwikkelingswereld in gang helpen te zetten. De kindersterfte en extreme armoede zijn gehalveerd. Innovatieve multilaterale partnerschappen zoals het Global Fund en Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – waarvan de VS de grootste donateur is – hebben miljoenen mensen helpen te redden, omdat ze het lijden onder infectieziekten zoals malaria, hiv en tuberculose hebben verminderd. De Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation heeft de eer gehad om samen te mogen werken met deze initiatieven in het verlagen van de kosten van vaccinaties en andere interventies, en heeft hiermee hun meetbare impact op de wereldgezondheid vergroot.

De ervaring leert dat gezondheid- en ontwikkelingsprogramma’s enorme economische dividenden uitbetalen. Voor elke dollar geïnvesteerd in vaccinaties in de kindertijd bijvoorbeeld realiseren ontwikkelingslanden 44 dollar aan economische winst.

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