Since 2002 three main donors of health sector, namely, The European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank (WB) have played a pivotal role in financing health services and health system development in Afghanistan. Significant improvements have been made in the health sector of Afghanistan. Improvements are seen in the access to key maternal health services such as antenatal care (32% in 2006 to 54% in 2012) and institutional deliveries (15% in 2006 to 40% in 2012). Despite these major accomplishments, many challenges remain. For instance, full immunization coverage of children has not increased in the past half-decade regardless of the investments made in the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).
Afghanistan’s Health Economics and Financing Directorate (HEFD) strives to conduct quality health economics and health financing related analyses to provide data for key resource allocation and policy decisions throughout the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). Key economic analyses such as cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analyses, national health accounts, and health financing studies are essential to supporting policy decisions within the MoPH as it works to maximize the health of the population with its limited resources.
In 2013 MoPH has signed an agreement with its three main donors to streamline their budgets through one single on-budget mechanism and start the process of sector wide approach. This agreement for funding both service delivery and health system development was called System Enhancement for Health Actions in Transition (SEHAT) that would continue till end of June 2018. At the moment, SEHAT serves as a platform nation-wide project strengthening the national health system and building the capacity of MoPH both at central and provincial levels. The final outcome is that MoPH will be empowered to effectively perform its stewardship functions in the health sector.