NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopia has raised its health budget by 46% this year after the coronavirus crisis exposed the need for more equipment, facilities and personnel, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Monday.
The populous Horn of Africa nation has typically been spending twice its annual health budget servicing its external debt, he said, but it was now shifting priorities.
“In many African countries, healthcare is a neglected sector. This pandemic has exposed our dark underbelly,” Abiy told the FT Africa conference, which was held virtually.
The extra spending has made the health sector the fourth biggest in terms of budgetary allocations, he said.
The government’s budget showed the sector has been allocated 18.7 billion Ethiopian birr ($505 million) during the 2020/21 financial year, up from 12.64 billion birr in 2019/20.