The UK is one of the largest European donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and an active proponent of sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) 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 slightly increased funding for SRH/FP, at £175million (€ 196 million) in 2018, which is further enhanced by additional funds to the Global Financing Facility and other multi-sector efforts to address SRH/FP. In September 2019 the UK announced an additional £600 million (€ 671 million) in funding for family planning over 2020-2025, including a renewed investment in UNFPA Supplies. The UK made a further commitment in October 2019 to prioritise ending preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children in the developing world by 2030 by boosting support for developing countries to ensure everyone has access to healthcare, and by committing to put sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women and girls at the heart of this commitment.
By 2019, DFID-funded reproductive, maternal and new-born health programmes had supported 23.5 million women and girls to use modern methods of family planning between April 2018 and March 2019, contributing towards DFID’s commitment of 24 million between 2012 and 2020.
In 2018 and 2019, DFID continued to fund SRH/FP in several countries. The countries receiving the highest amounts for family planning in 2018-19 were: Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan and Malawi. The UK also funds largescale consortia on family planning, notably through 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 2020
- European Institutions
- United Kingdom