The world has seen much progress in recent years. Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty and on less than $1.90 per day has more than halved and between 2000 - 2016, the number of Low-Income Countries reduced from 63 to 31. However, more people now live in poverty in Middle-Income Countries than in any other income classification and economic growth can hide increasing inequality, particularly in access to health services.
Many international development donors rely solely on economic indicators, such as country income, to determine whether a country is eligible for financial support. Subsequently, many new Middle-Income Countries face changes and reductions in funding from international development donors and must now finance their own health systems. This process, known as transition, needs to be planned for effectively and managed sustainably otherwise we risk losing the incredible progress that has been made in recent years.
Following the launch of our Mind the Gap campaign, we are pleased to see DFID taking vital steps to address and tackle this important issue. DFID have begun to develop a set of working principles on transition and have appointed a central point of responsibility for managing the transition process, both key asks of our Mind the Gap campaign! However, we must now build on this progress and ensure the working principles foster sustainability and focus on health impact. Furthermore, it is important that civil society, both in the UK and globally, is involved in the transition process.