Dear colleagues and friends,
The word crisis is heard everywhere, and budget cuts for international collaboration are almost a non-issue amidst outcries over cuts in health, social security and education budgets in the high-income countries. This raises the stakes: what shall we do to convince policy makers that building and maintaining effective health services in Afghanistan and Sudan cannot be done for $5 per capita per year (set as ceiling by institutional donors)? This is the environment in which we try to establish some local ownership of health services. The fact that the health insurance scheme in Cambodia is continuing to grow is very good news – and even more impressive when seen against this background. In South Sudan we are dealing with the problematic side of growth – but the programmes are getting on track. In Afghanistan a series of new project proposals is delivered on the request of the donors. And in Holland, we keep building up networks for support. I hope you will find the issues in this newsletter of interest!
Willem van de Put, general director