The UK is one of the largest European donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and an active proponent of family planning and sexual and reproductive health (FP/SRH) within ODA. Despite a tight economic climate, the budget of the Department for International Development (DFID) has remained ring-fenced. The UK continues to meet the target of 0.7% GNI to ODA, after the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act enshrined this ongoing commitment in law in 2015.
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 places a strong emphasis on health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and on women and girls.
Overall, the UK has increased funding for SRH/FP in 2017 to £177 million (€199 million), representing a 22% increase compared to 2016. Core funding to UNFPA remained stable at £20 million (€22.3 million).
By 2018, DFID-funded reproductive, maternal and new-born health programmes have enabled 12.5 million additional women and girls (from July 2012 to March 2018) to use modern methods of family planning, contributing towards DFID’s commitment of 24 million between 2012 and 2020.
In 2017 and 2018, DFID continued to fund SRH/FP in several countries. The large global programme Prevention of Maternal Deaths from Unwanted Pregnancy (PMDUP 2011-17) has been continued as the HEALTH: PREVENTION OF MATERNAL DEATHS (PMD) programme, in 17 countries across West, East, Central and Southern Africa and in South Asia, until September 2018. In August 2018 DFID made bilateral commitments of £36 million (€40.4 million) to the Kenyan Government, and £50.1 million (€56.2 million) for bilateral programmes in Malawi. The UK also launched the £200 million (€224.5 million) flagship programme Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) that will ensure six million couples can use voluntary contraception every year of the programme.
To reinvigorate support on FP2020 commitments made at the first FP summit in July 2012, DFID, UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought together major stakeholders at an FP Summit in July 2017, in London. The UK government committed to increase its existing commitment by 25% to an average of €254 million a year, and extended its commitment by a further two years, up to 2022. This brings DFID’s total FP funding commitment to an average of £225 million (€252.6 million) a year until 2022, and includes a £30 million (€33.6 million) commitment to the Global Financing Facility (GFF), funding to the global Visibility and Analytics Network to improve commodity supply chains, to SRHR AidConnect (a civil society funding stream) and support to a price reduction deal for Sayana Press.
DFID is on track to meet their FP2020 commitment and is supporting the target through bilateral and multilateral programmes (as highlighted above) and through maintaining the profile on FP within key global agendas such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- DFID’s Strategic Vision for Gender Equality: Her Potential, Our Future
- DFID Single Departmental Plan, updated May 2018
- Agenda 2030: The UK Government’s approach to delivering the Global Goals for Sustainable Development - at home and around the world (2017)
- Bilateral Development Review and Multilateral Development Review (2016)
- DFID Business Plan 2011-2015 (2010)
- Health portfolio review 2009 (2010)
- Working paper for DFID’s research strategy: Better Health (2008-2013)
- Choices for Women: Planned pregnancies, safe births and healthy newborns (2010)
- Towards Zero Infections: The UK’s position paper on HIV in the developing world (2011)
- DFID Evidence Paper: Interventions to reduce unintended pregnancies (2010)
Updated January 2019
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