Britain Donates $35M to UNFPA to Purchase Contraceptives for Developing World
Britain announced on Friday a $25 million pound ($35.65 million) donation to the United Nations Population Fund to purchase condoms for the developing world, Reuters reports. The donation is in addition to Britain's 15 million pound annual grant to the population fund. The extra funding will be used to purchase male and female condoms and drugs to treat STDs (Reuters, 11/10). With demand for barrier contraception expected to increase 40% by 2015 in the developing world, UNFPA faces a funding shortfall. The grant will allow UNFPA to meet contraceptive needs in countries with reported shortages, including Ethiopia, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Angola and Namibia. The U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) said that UNFPA's funding shortfall "could lead to 360,000 unwanted pregnancies, 150,000 unsafe abortion[s], more than 800 maternal deaths and 11,000 child deaths." DFID Secretary Clare Short said, "The AIDS pandemic is spreading at an alarming rate, with up to a quarter of all adults infected in some African countries." She added, "Access to safe contraception and reproductive health services for all is one of the international development targets and a core component of Britain's health strategy for the developing world." UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Nafis Sadik said that the grant "shows the commitment of the ... U.K. to the right of women and men around the world to have access to reproductive health care and especially safe and effective methods of family planning." The Netherlands has also announced a similar grant of $39 million (BBC News, 11/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.