Canada Donates $900,000 to U.N. Condom Fund
As part of Canada's $10 million donation to the U.N. Population Fund, the Canadian International Development Agency will donate $900,000 toward the purchase of 12 million condoms for people in developing nations, the National Post reports. "This gesture signals Canada's support for the crusade against HIV/AIDS," UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid said. Most of the condoms will be given away, but some will be sold below cost because some governments say that putting a price on things "makes people value them more." UNFPA Coordinator of Commodity Management Patrick Friel said, "Oftentimes people value more something they pay for, even if it is just a small amount of money, than they do if they receive it for free." South Africa, Cameroon and Ethiopia are three of the 55 countries that sell donated condoms under "social marketing" programs approved by the UNFPA. The condoms, which cost about 7.5 cents apiece, will be shipped to 80 nations, mostly in Africa. The UNFPA estimates that about 10% of the condoms will be damaged and "rendered unusable" during the journey or because of "poor storage," leaving approximately 11 million usable condoms. A study by Johns Hopkins University last year estimated that 24 billion condoms are needed worldwide each year to protect "every sex act involving a single man or a man outside marriage." Condom usage currently stands at between six billion and nine billion a year, Friel said. Great Britain and the Netherlands are also contributing to the condom drive (Edwards, National Post, 4/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.