Donor Government Funding for Family Planning in 2019

This report provides an analysis of donor government funding to address family planning in low- and middle-income countries in 2019, the most recent year available, as well as trends over time. It is part of an effort by KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation) to track such funding that began after the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012. Importantly, these findings reflect political funding decisions made before the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore precede possible effects on donor government spending for family planning. At the same time, data have already shown that family planning services have been disrupted by COVID-19, which could exacerbate unmet needs. Key findings include:

  • DONOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR FAMILY PLANNING WAS ESSENTIALLY FLAT COMPARED TO THE PRIOR YEAR. In 2019, donor government funding for family planning totaled US$1.5 billion, on par with peak-level 2018 funding (US$1.5 billion).1
  • HALF OF DONORS INCREASED BILATERAL FUNDING FOR FAMILY PLANNING IN 2019. Among the 10 donor governments profiled, five increased bilateral funding (Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K.) and five decreased (Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.S.); these trends were the same after adjusting for inflation and exchange rate fluctuations, except for the Netherlands, which was level in currency of origin.
  • THE U.S. CONTINUES TO BE THE LARGEST DONOR TO FAMILY PLANNING. The U.S. was the largest bilateral donor to family planning in 2019 (even after a decline in funding compared to 2018), providing $592.5 million or 39% of total bilateral funding from governments.2 The U.K. (US$386.5 million, 25%) was the second largest donor, followed by the Netherlands (US$203.3 million, 13%), Sweden (US$113.1 million, 7%), and Canada (US$89.4 million, 6%).
  • DONOR FUNDING HAS GENERALLY INCREASED SINCE THE LONDON SUMMIT IN 2012, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN FLUCTUATIONS OVER THE PERIOD. Funding from donor governments in 2019 was more than US$400 million above the 2012 level (US$1.1 billion). In addition, 2019 funding levels for seven of the ten donor governments profiled were higher than in 2012. Funding reached its highest level since the summit in 2018 and remained there in 2019.
  • FUNDING TO UNFPA REMAINED STEADY IN 2019, EVEN WITHOUT U.S. SUPPORT. In addition to bilateral funding for family planning, the donor governments profiled provided US$367.6 million in core contributions to UNFPA in 2019, similar to 2018 (US$374.1 million).3,4 Norway provided the largest core contribution (US$62.0 million), followed by Sweden (US$61.7 million), Denmark (US$45.3 million), Germany (US$37.0 million), and the Netherlands (US$36.7 million).The U.S. did not provide any funding to UNFPA in 2019. This was the third year in a row that the Trump administration invoked the Kemp-Kasten amendment to withhold funding from the organization.5
  • FUTURE FUNDING MAY DEPEND ON THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON DONOR BUDGETS AND COUNTRY NEEDS, AND CHANGING U.S. ADMINISTRATION PRIORITIES. While donor government funding for family planning has generally increased since the London Summit, and more recently held steady, future levels could depend on the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, including how significantly the pandemic affects donor budgets as well as needs on the ground. At the same time, the Biden Administration has expressed support for global family planning efforts and may seek additional funding for these efforts, though any funding request would need to be approved by Congress.

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