A Private Aid Failure: Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund

Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund was set up in 2016 and invested in private health care systems in developing countries. One of its stated aims is to buy up cheap land and build private hospitals with the intention of providing low-cost private health care for people in low-income countries.

It started in 2016 and managed to attract $1 billion worth of aid money from diverse sources, mainly the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation but it has also received £75 million from the UK government’s aid budget.

The Fund established projects in private health care in Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and India.

At time of writing you can check out details of its projects here.

The Fund went into liquidation in 2018 when its chief executive officer came under investigation for alegedly stealing $350 million from the fund.

As a result, most of the above projects remain incomplete to this da.

This report from Global Justice Now highlights the following problems with relying on private equity firms for development:

  • The fund focuses purely on private hospitals, which can undermine the provision of public health care.
  • There is no evidence of investment having resulted in positive health outcomes in some cases.
  • There is a lack of transparency over where the money goes in some cases.

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