Family planning programs require funding, and expansions to those programs require additional funding. The logic is as simple as it is inescapable. No matter how well intentioned a country’s commitment or how well designed a partner’s project, they are unworkable without the resources to underwrite their implementation.
The 2012 London Summit generated US$2.6 billion in financial commitments from global donors to support family planning. It also sparked a renewed emphasis on family planning as a global development priority, with growing recognition that voluntary, rights-based family planning is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make in its future.
These pledges and priorities are translating into action: a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that bilateral funding for family planning has increased by almost a third since the 2012 London Summit. Donor governments are following through on their FP2020 commitments:
In 2014 donor governments provided US$1.4 billion in bilateral funding for family planning programs, a 9% increase over the prior year and a 32% increase over 2012.10
- The US was the largest bilateral donor in 2014, providing almost half (44%) of total bilateral funding: US$636.6 million. The UK was the second-largest bilateral donor, accounting for nearly a quarter of all funding (US$327.6 million).11
- All eight commitment-making donor governments profiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation are on track to meet their FP2020 commitments.12
These increases continue the upward trendline reported last year and confirm that support for family planning is solidifying and strengthening among global donors. Yet at the same time, Track20 estimates that expenditures on family planning in 2013—the first year for which the data can be compiled—totaled $3.1 billion across the 69 FP2020 focus countries.13 To expand family planning programs beyond 2013 service levels, funding will need to be scaled up even more dramatically.
Further analyses on this page include:
KEY FINDINGS FROM 2014 ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- In 2014, donor governments provided US$1.4 billion for bilateral family planning programs (see table).
- The US$1.4 billion provided by donors in 2014 represents a 9% increase (+US$120.5 million) above 2013 (US$1.3 billion), and 32% above 2012 (US$1.1 billion).
- Seven donors (Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden, US, and UK) increased bilateral funding in 2014 (after exchange rate fluctuations are taken into account), while two (Australia and Norway) remained essentially flat and one decreased (Germany).
- Most of the bilateral increase was driven by the US, followed by France, the UK, and Sweden.
- The US was the largest bilateral donor in 2014, providing US$636.6 million and accounting for almost half (44%) of total bilateral funding. The UK (US$327.6 million, 23%) was the second-largest bilateral donor, accounting for nearly a quarter of all funding, followed by the Netherlands (US$163.6 million, 11%), Sweden (US$70.2 million, 5%), and France (US$69.8 million, 5%).
Progress toward FP2020 commitments:
- Among the 10 donors profiled in this analysis, 8 made commitments during the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning: Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. Preliminary estimates indicate that all 8 are on track toward fulfilling their commitments.
- In addition to donor government bilateral disbursements for family planning—which include non-core contributions to UNFPA for family planning projects as specified by the donor—donors also contributed US$472 million to UNFPA core resources in 2014. Core resources are meant to be used by UNFPA for both programmatic activities (family planning, population and development, HIV-AIDS, gender, and sexual and reproductive health and rights) and operational support. In 2014, UNFPA spent an estimated US$93 million of core contributions on family planning. Combined with the estimated US$241 million spent on family planning from non-core resources, the overall amount spent by UNFPA on family planning was an estimated US$334 million in 2014, or 40.7% of UNFPA total resources.
- Among the donor governments profiled, Sweden provided the largest core contribution to UNFPA in 2014 (US$70.3 million), followed by Norway (US$69.1 million), the Netherlands (US$48.4 million), and Denmark (US$41.9).16
THE WORLD BANK
The World Bank provides funding for family planning under broader population and reproductive health activities. In 2014, the World Bank provided US$251 million for population and reproductive health, an increase of US$30 million above the 2013 level (US$221 million). With the creation of the Global Financing Facility (GFF), the World Bank is expected to play an increasingly important role in supporting family planning activities.17
17. Kaiser Family Foundation based on personal communication with World Bank
FOCUS ON EUROPE: COUNTDOWN 2015 EUROPE ANALYSIS
Countdown 2015 Europe is a consortium of 15 leading European non-governmental organizations working to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. Countdown 2015 Europe tracks European donor spending on international family planning and works nationally with their own governments to increase support and accountability for family planning and reproductive health.
While a large majority of international family planning assistance is provided by 11 FP2020 pledging donors and the United States (which is the largest donor but did not make a London Summit commitment), notable contributions have also been made by non-pledging countries in Europe to address the global unmet need for family planning. In Belgium and Ireland, policy commitments to RH/FP have actually seen a rise in 2014–2015. UNFPA received increased financial support from both Belgium and Finland in 2014 and 2015.
GLOBAL EXPENDITURES ON FAMILY PLANNING: TRACK20 ANALYSIS
A new way to estimate total spending on family planning from all sources (public, private, and out-of-pocket) across the 69 FP2020 focus countries has been developed by Track20 with the help of a group of experts convened as the International Family Planning Expenditure Tracking Advisory Group. The methodology draws from ongoing work by numerous partners to improve the collection and understanding of data on family planning expenditures, including donor contributions, spending by NGOs and corporations, and out-of-pocket expenditures.
A new way to estimate total spending on family planning from all sources (public, private, and out- of-pocket) across the 69 FP2020 focus countries has been developed by Track20.
It is now estimated that in 2013, a total of US$3.1 billion was spent on family planning across the 69 FP2020 focus countries. This estimate brings together expenditure data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, UNFPA/Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographics Institute Resource Flows Project, World Health Organization System of Health Accounts, Countdown 2015 Europe, USAID/Deliver Project, PMA2020, and Track20.
The total expenditure translates to just under US$12 per modern contraceptive user per year. Almost half of expenditures occur in just five countries—Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Bangladesh—and these five countries account for 70% of modern contraceptive users across the 69 FP2020 focus countries.
THE INVESTMENT CASE FOR CONTRACEPTION
To illustrate the potential impact of a nation’s investment in contraception, Marie Stopes International (MSI) selected five social and economic indicators for which country-level data are widespread and robust: per capita GDP; primary school completion rate for girls; gender equality ranking; foreign aid as percentage of government revenue; and position in the Fragile State Index. Using the hypothetical example of a small sub-Saharan African nation called Contraceptia, with 2.2 million women of reproductive age and a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 20%, MSI estimated the benefits of increasing CPR by 5 percentage points. The results point to some potentially exciting correlations: providing contraception to an additional 5% of women of reproductive age appears to coincide with substantial improvements for all five social and economic indicators.18