I was startled to see in a recent Lancet paper by Babatunde Osotimehin that fully meeting the family planning needs of people in developing countries—of current users and women with unmet need—would cost about US$8.1 billion annually. Currently, writes Osotimehin,“donors, developing countries, and households are investing some US$4 billion, which leaves a shortfall of about US$4.1 billion” each year.
Osotimehin, who is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNFPA, urges governments of developing countries to commit significantly more of their own regular budgets and other resources to provide contraceptive information and services. In addition, “Donor countries need to step up their contributions to family planning to fulfill their commitments made at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).”
One piece of good news for the funding picture came out of the recent London Summit on Family Planning when international donors and foundations pledged an additional US$2.625 billion dollars to reach 120 million more women with an unmet need for family planning by 2020. Developing country partners, including those in India, Indonesia, Malawi, and Nigeria, pledged an additional US$2 billion. These pledges, according to the London Summit Press Release, mean that by 2020, some 200,000 fewer women will have died in pregnancy and childbirth, there will be 110 million fewer unintended pregnancies, over 50 million fewer abortions, and nearly three million more babies will survive their first year of life.