Impact of Foreign Aid on Maternal Mortality
Emmanuel Banchani, Memorial University
Liam Swiss, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Foreign aid donors have pledged increased funding towards the reduction of maternal deaths globally in an effort to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite global efforts, the evidence linking foreign aid to reductions in maternal mortality is limited. This study analyzes the effects of aid on maternal health in a sample of 106 low- and middle-income countries from 1996 through 2010. Two-stage, fixed effects panel regression models are used to examine the effect foreign aid on mortality levels. Results show that total foreign aid is associated with reductions in maternal mortality and that aid allocated to the reproductive health sector is associated with even larger reductions in maternal mortality. The study provides evidence that it is important to channel more donor assistance to reproductive health and the promotion of contraceptive use among women as it serves as a tool to empower them and leads to reduction of maternal mortality.