Global Health Programs, Millennium Development Goals, and the World Bank's Role

The health sector has replaced environment at the forefront of global partnerships in terms of resource mobilization. A combination of factors has put global health issues, especially communicable diseases, on a "war footing." These include increased awareness of cross-border spillovers from globalization; the technological, communication and transport revolutions; the ethical imperative of alleviating the socio-economic effects of a heavy disease burden in developing countries; and the perceived failure of traditional international organizations to address health challenges effectively. Additional factors include the growing importance of private philanthropy, the necessity of mobilizing additional public resources, the need for better harmonization of aid among donors and international organizations, and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because global collective action and global partnerships are increasingly viewed as the way to address these multiple global challenges and opportunities that no single actor can address alone, and global health partnerships have increased in number and scope.