Donor Government Assistance for Family Planning in 2015

2015 marks the fourth year that the Kaiser Family Foundation has been analyzing donor government funding for family planning, tracking progress against commitments made at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.1 After steady increases since the Summit, funding for bilateral family planning activities remained essentially flat in 2015 in real terms (after adjusting for the effects of exchange rate fluctuations and inflation). However, in current U.S. dollars, 2015 funding (US$1.3 billion) was 6% below the 2014 level.  The decrease in current U.S. dollars was largely due to a complex set of factors, primarily the appreciation of the U.S. dollar, but also to real declines by several donors.  In addition to bilateral funding, donor governments also contributed US$392.6 million in core contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2015, a decrease of US$78.9 million (-17%) below 2014 levels, similarly due to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Among the donor governments profiled, eight made specific commitments as part of the London Summit, seven of which are on track to meet these commitments.

Key findings include:

  • In 2015, donor governments provided US$1.3 billion for bilateral family planning programs, essentially matching the 2014 level (US$1.4 billion) when measured in real terms (after adjusting for the effects of exchange rate fluctuations and inflation). In current dollars, 2015 funding was 6% below (-US$88.6 million) 2014, and essentially a return to 2013 levels, though still above the 2012 baseline (see Table 1 and Appendix 1).
  • The decline, when measured in current U.S. dollars, is due to a complex set of factors, primarily the significant appreciation of the U.S. dollar, resulting in the depreciation of most other donor currencies, but also to real declines by several donors. In their currency of origin, five donors (Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden) increased, while funding from three donors (Australia, Norway, and the U.K.) declined. Funding from the U.S. and Canada remained flat. Despite the real declines by several donors, when the effects of the exchange rate fluctuations are removed, 2015 funding essentially matches 2014 levels.
  • The U.S. was the largest bilateral donor to family planning in 2015, providing US$638.0 million or almost half (47%) of total bilateral funding. The U.K. (US$269.9 million, 20%) was the second largest donor, followed by the Netherlands (US$165.8 million, 12%), France (US$68.6 million, 5%), and Sweden (US$66.0 million, 5%). Funding trends for family planning have been primarily driven by the two largest donors, the U.S. and U.K., which have accounted for approximately two-thirds of total funding between 2012 and 2015.
  • Among the 10 donors profiled, 8 made commitments during the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning: Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K., of which all but one are on track towards fulfilling these commitments. Australia had made progress in prior years, but due to recent declines would need to significantly increase funding in order to fulfill its commitment (see Appendix 2).
  • In addition to donor contributions to UNFPA that are earmarked for family planning, and are therefore counted as bilateral funding above, the donors examined also provided US$392.6 million in core contributions to UNFPA. This too was a decline – US$78.9 million below the 2014 level (US$471.5 million). Similar to bilateral funding, much of this decline can be attributed to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. In fact, when measured in the currency of origin, all of the donors profiled essentially maintained their contribution to UNFPA’s core resources at the prior year level, with the exception of Denmark, which increased funding. Among the donor governments profiled, Sweden provided the largest core contribution to UNFPA in 2015 (US$57.4 million), followed by Norway (US$55.6 million), the Netherlands (US$39.7 million), and Denmark (US$35.7).2
Table 1: Donor Government Bilateral Disbursements for Family Planning, 2012-2015 (in current US$, millions)
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 Difference
2014 – 2015 2012 – 2015
Australia $43.2 $39.5 $26.6 $12.4 $-14.2
Canada $41.5 $45.6 $48.3 $43.0 $-5.3
Denmark $13.0 $20.3 $28.8 $28.1 $-0.7
France $49.6 $37.2 $69.8 $68.6 $-1.2
Germany $47.6 $38.2 $31.3 $34.0 $2.7
Netherlands $105.4 $153.7 $163.6 $165.8 $2.2
Norway $3.3 $20.4 $20.8 $8.1 $-12.7
Sweden $41.2 $50.4 $70.2 $66.0 $-4.2
U.K. $252.8 $305.2 $327.6 $269.9 $-57.7
U.S. $485.0 $585.0 $636.6 $638.0 $1.4
Other DAC Countries* $11.0 $29.5 $9.0 $10.1 $1.1
Total $1,093.6 $1,325.0 $1,432.7 $1,344.0 $-88.6
*Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, European Union, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland.

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