The UK is one of the largest European donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and an active proponent of family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) within ODA. Despite a tight economic climate, the budget of the Department for International Development (DFID) has remained ring-fenced. In 2013 the UK met the target of 0.7% GNI to ODA, and in 2015 the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 enshrined this ongoing commitment in law.
Policies & funding
The UK has committed to taking a strong stand for women and girls and to promoting equity in both its programmes and in global processes such as the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UK continues to work towards the UK commitment of 24 million additional family planning users between 2012 and 2020. The UK continues to place a strong emphasis on health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and on women and girls.
By 2014/15, DFID-funded reproductive, maternal and newborn health programmes have enabled 5.9 million women from 2012 to 2015, and 1 million women in 2015–16, to use modern methods of family planning. This gives a total of 6.9 million for the period 2012–2016 (On track to meet DFID’s commitment of 10 million); Supported 5.6 million births with skilled birth attendants 5.6 million births with skilled birth attendants (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 2 million); helped save the lives of 103,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 50,000 by the end of 2015); and helped save the lives of 187,000 newborn babies (On track to meet DFID’s commitment of 250,000 by the end of 2015)..
In 2015/6, DFID funded family planning programmes in at least 15 countries through a mix of channels, including a large regional programme Prevention of Maternal Deaths from Unwanted Pregnancy (PMDUP 2011-17) which covers 12 countries in Africa and Asia, and earmarked multi-lateral family planning support through UNFPA’s Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security, and programme partnership agreements with Marie Stopes International (MSI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
In 2014, DFID’s gross bilateral ODA was £ 7,198.932 million. The highest portion of bilateral ODA was to Humanitarian Assistance (£1,118.958 million), followed by Government and Civil Society (£865.446 million) and Education (£823.916 million). Health as a sector received the fourth largest amount at £782.51 million, and Population Policies/programmes and Reproductive Health received £482.538 million ( These figures are calculated on the basis of the single largest sector code per project, meaning that the proportion for health and Reproductive Health is higher. Source: DFID Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16).
In order to leverage greater support and funding for family planning, DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought together major stakeholders at an FP Summit in July 2012 in London. At the event DFID committed £516 million (US $800 million) over eight years to reach the Summit goal of enabling an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to be using modern family planning methods by 2020. DFID is on track to meet their commitment, and is supporting the target through bilateral and multilateral programmes (results highlighted above) and through maintaining the profile on FP within key global agendas such as the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Updated October 2016
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