Donor Government Funding for Family Planning in 2020

This report provides an analysis of donor government funding to address family planning in low- and middle-income countries in 2020, 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, the current findings largely reflect political funding decisions made before the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore likely precede any major effects on donor government spending for family planning. Key findings include:

  • AFTER THREE YEARS OF INCREASES, DONOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR BILATERAL FAMILY PLANNING DECLINED. In 2020, family planning funding from donor governments totaled US$1.40 billion, a decline of US$114 million compared to the 2019 level (US$1.52 billion).1
  • THE DECLINE IN 2020 WAS LARGELY DUE TO DECREASED FUNDING FROM U.K., THE WORLD’S SECOND LARGEST DONOR, LARGELY OFFSETTING ITS PRIOR YEAR INCREASE. K. bilateral funding for family planning activities declined by more than US$100 million in 2020. The decline was partly due to the timing of U.K. disbursements (funding increased significantly in 2019, but then returned to near prior year levels in 2020), as well as an overall decline in its ODA due to the effect of COVID-19 on the U.K.’s gross national income (GNI).2,3
  • THREE DONORS INCREASED BILATERAL FUNDING IN 2020 WHILE ALL OTHER DONORS EITHER DECLINED OR REMAINED FLAT. Among the ten donor governments profiled, three increased funding (Canada, France, and Sweden), three remained essentially flat (Australia, Netherlands, and U.S.), and four decreased (Denmark, Germany, Norway, and U.K.); these trends were the same after adjusting for inflation and exchange rate fluctuations, except for the Netherlands, which increased in currency of origin.
  • THE U.S. CONTINUES TO BE THE LARGEST DONOR TO BILATERAL FAMILY PLANNING EFFORTS. The U.S. provided $592.5 million or 42% of total bilateral funding from governments in 2020.4 The U.K. (US$266.5 million, 19%) was the second largest donor, followed by the Netherlands (US$202.3 million, 14%), Sweden (US$129.3 million, 9%), and Canada (US$94.0 million, 7%).
  • DESPITE THE DECLINE IN 2020, FUNDING HAS GENERALLY INCREASED SINCE THE CALL FOR MORE FUNDING MADE AT THE LONDON SUMMIT IN 2012. Funding from donor governments in 2020 was approximately US$215 million above the 2012 level (US$1.2 billion). In 2020, six donor governments provided higher funding than in 2012, including Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K. Since funding from the U.S., the world’s largest donor over the period has been relatively flat, the overall trends have been largely driven by other donors.
  • FUNDING TO UNFPA INCREASED IN 2020, EVEN WITHOUT U.S. SUPPORT. In addition to bilateral funding for family planning, the donor governments profiled provided US$411.7 million in core contributions to UNFPA in 2020, an increase of more than US$40 million compared to 2019 (US$367.6 million).5,6 The ranking of donor government support for UNFPA differs from that of their bilateral funding. Germany provided the largest core contribution (US$78.8 million), followed by Sweden (US$65.9 million), Norway (US$55.1 million), the Netherlands (US$36.8 million), and Denmark (US$34.1 million).The U.S. did not provide any funding to UNFPA in 2020 due to the Trump Administration’s invoking of the Kemp-Kasten amendment to withhold funding from UNFPA between 2017 and 2020. The Biden administration has moved to restore funding, expected in 2021.7
  • FUTURE FUNDING WILL LIKELY DEPEND ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON COUNTRY BUDGETS AND FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES AS WELL AS CHANGES IN U.S. ADMINISTRATION PRIORITIES. Donor government funding decisions for 2020 were largely determined prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, before most governments saw their GDPs fall. Funding for family planning activities in 2021, which will largely reflect decisions made in 2020, and beyond will depend on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly vaccination roll-out, but also the continued economic stresses on country budgets (both donor and recipient) as well as changing needs in recipient countries resulting from impacts on family planning services. At the same time, funding from the U.S. may rise as the Biden Administration and current Congress have expressed support for increased funding for family planning activities.
Overview Report

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