Pope John Paul II received Doctors with Africa CUAMM during the Holy Jubilee Year, expressing his appreciation for the organization’s approach and activities.
Italy disbursed its highest-ever amount of official development assistance: 0.4% of the country’s GDP.
The World Bank published a document entitled “Financing Health Services in Developing Countries” setting down the rules of health policy; in the same year the Italian government passed a new law on development cooperation (No. 49).
Following these positive developments, Italian development cooperation sank into a deep depression, with major repercussions for Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s management and programs.
In that same year, the World Bank issued its annual World Development Report under the title “Investing in Health”, acknowledging that economic growth was not the only factor in accelerating development and improving health care and asserting that some structural interventions undertaken in poorer countries had actually done serious damage to crucial health services. Developing countries were sinking under their debt burden and suffering from the restructuring policies imposed on them by the World Bank, and health and education were being particularly hard-hit.
Spurred by these considerations, Doctors with Africa CUAMM undertook a re-examination of its own objectives and strategies. Doubling down on its effort to become self-financing, the organization found alternative funding sources, most notably the European Union and the Italian Episcopal Conference.
Francesco Canova, Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s founder, passed away at the age of 90.