Human Security, Multi-polarity, and Development Assistance for Health

Karthik Nachiappan

Development assistance for health (DAH) constitutes a critical vehicle of collective action in global health, one that has seen the rise and involvement of emerging powers like India and China. Through their DAH, both countries actively seek to widen their global health footprint. This paper measures China and India’s DAH through Sen and Ogata’s human security framework and attendant principles of health security. It argues that their health assistance largely falls short of advancing health and human security of citizens in countries that receive their DAH. Strategic, not health concerns gain precedence. Though their DAH is having a positive impact in empowering citizens in recipient countries through the development of health facilities and transfer of skills and knowledge, it is not being entirely done on recipient’s terms nor is it deployed by engaging with their public health systems.