Top 3 bilateral donors to family planning

With support from the U.K. Department for International Development, local community health workers are able to provide care and support to expectant mothers in one of India’s poorest states. The United Kingdom is the second-largest bilateral donor to family planning and reproductive health services in 2013. Photo by: Pippa Ranger / DfID / CC BY-NC-ND

Bilateral donor spending on family planning programs reached $1.3 billion in 2013, nearly half of which came from the United States.

The world’s largest bilateral donor, the United States spent $585 million on family planning and reproductive health programs in fiscal year 2013. While significantly smaller compared with U.S. aid to HIV and AIDS, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the country’s health assistance disbursements during the period, spending on family planning programs increased 20.6 percent year-on-year.

That’s according to data published this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which also noted increases in foreign assistance to family planning programs from nearly all of the top donors to the health subsector.

Kaiser collected data directly from the 10 donor governments that collectively contributed 98 percent of overseas funding to family planning and reproductive health. Of these, only France and Germany saw decreases in their bilateral spending on family planning. France cut disbursements from $49.6 million in 2012 to $37.2 million in 2013. Germany, meanwhile, reduced bilateral aid to family planning from $47.6 million to $38.2 million in the same period.

While its contributions to the U.N. Population Fund remained flat, the United Kingdom increased disbursements for family planning programs from $252.8 million in 2012 to $305 million in 2013, making it the second-largest bilateral donor to the subsector.

The Netherlands, family planning’s third-largest bilateral donor, spent $48.3 million more in 2013.

But where did these donors channel this funding?

Kaiser only provided total bilateral disbursement per donor and did not provide a breakdown of spending per country, so we looked at aid data platforms and reviewed progress reports of the top three bilateral donors to see which countries received the bulk of their family planning assistance.

Pakistan, Uganda and Kenya were the largest beneficiaries of U.S. assistance for family planning and reproductive health services, receiving $30.4 million, $27.9 million and $26.2 million, respectively, in fiscal 2013.

Ethiopia, meanwhile, received the highest family planning support from the U.K. Department for International Development, with 87 million pounds ($138.64 million). This is based on the 39 family planning projects that received funding in the financial year covering April 2013 to March 2014 as listed in DfID’s development tracker database.

Incidentally, Ethiopia has been the largest recipient of total U.K. aid since the 2011-12 financial year.

The two other countries that round up the top three recipients of U.K. family planning assistance are Zimbabwe (18.55 million pounds) and Pakistan (18 million pounds).

DfID also spent 61.4 million pounds on a multicountry program aimed at increasing women and girls’ access to reproductive health, including family planning services. Last year, it launched a program to monitor and evaluate commitments governments and service providers made at the London Family Planning Summit in 2012; of the 8 million pounds budgeted for the program, only 1.65 million pounds was spent in 2013.

Of the Netherlands’ 14 priority countries, Burundi had the largest funding under the donor country’s sexual and reproductive health and rights thematic program, receiving 64.9 million euros ($80.9 million) in 2013. The second-largest recipient, Mali got 17.2 million euros that year. Ethiopia received the third-highest funding with 16.3 million euros.

Check out more practical business and development advice online, and subscribe to Money Matters to receive the latest contract award and shortlist announcements, and procurement and fundraising news.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.