Day of 6 Billion


H O M E


THE ISSUES

» The Facts
» October 12
The Day of 6 Billion
» The Myth of Shrinking Population
» Three Faces of Reality
» Population & the Environment
» Poverty, Population &- Development
» Equality & Equity
Empowerment of Women
» Youth & Population
» Consumption & Resources
» Family Planning & Reproductive Health
» Urbanization & Migration
» AIDS/HIV:
The New Trends
» Money Matters:
Financial Commitments

RESOURCES

» Contacts:
U.S. NGOs
» Contacts:
United Nations
U.S.
International
» U.S. Scorecard
» Journalist's Notebook

 
 
Money Matters:
Financial Resource Commitments

To reach the ambitious goals of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, participating governments agreed to increase spending on population and related programs to $17 billion per year by 2000. The figure, less than one week's global spending on armaments, was to climb to $22 billion by 2015. (1)

Two-thirds of the total was to come from developing nations and one-third from the industrialized world. The developed nations set a target of development assistance spending totaling 0.7% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year. Population funding was to total 4% of each nation's official development assistance.

In 1995, a global total of $9.5 billion was earmarked for population programmes and projects, a substantial rise from 1994 spending.

  • Donor countries increased their assistance to $2 billion, the highest percentage in a decade.
  • Developing nations provided $7.5 billion, about 78% of total investments, more than projected. China, India and Indonesia accounted for more than half that amount.

The funds were channeled to projects directed at the education of girls; expansion of reproductive health care and family planning information and services for women and men; and production and distribution of safe, effective and inexpensive contraceptives.

Since 1995, however, donor nations with a few exceptions have been reducing their support for population measures rather than increasing it as promised.

  • Only five nations have managed to reach the target of devoting 0.7% of their GDP to development assistance: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Most others are far short of their commitments.
  • Population aid from all donor nations was 2.46% of official development assistance in 1996, up from 2.32% in 1995 but still short of their share. (2)
  • In 1996, 94% of all population assistance funding came from ten countries: the Netherlands and the United States (55% together); and the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia. (2)
  • Final 1996 spending by region was as follows: Sub-Saharan Africa $422 million (28%); Asia and the Pacific $367 million (24%); Latin America and the Caribbean $197 million (13%); Western Asia and North Africa $104 million (7%); Europe $25 million (2%). The remaining 26% went to global and interregional aid. (2)

The UN Population Fund has projected scenarios for low, medium and high rates of shortfall from the ICPD commitments. (1)

Constant growth of commitments, the most optimistic, assumes that donor nations continue their current below-target rate of growth in contributions 1995-2000, and that developing nations meet the ICPD targets. This means a shortfall of $2.1 billion in 2000.

  • Some 97 million people who would have chosen contraception will not be able to do so. The number of unintended pregnancies will rise by 130 million.
  • Abortions will increase by 50 million. Unwanted births will rise by 59 million. Maternal deaths will rise by 300,000, and an additional 3.6 million infants and 1.3 million children will die from inadequate health care.

Intermediate growth of commitments assumes assistance rises 20% more slowly than in the above scenario. This leads to a $2.9 billion shortfall in 2000.

  • About 130 million people who would have chosen contraception will not be able to do so. The number of unintended pregnancies will rise by 170 million.
  • Abortions will increase by 68 million. Unwanted births will rise by 79 million. Maternal deaths will rise by 400,000, and another 4.8 million infants and 1.8 million children will die from inadequate health care.

Low growth of commitments assumes that developing nations also fall short of their targets. This results in a $3.8 billion shortfall in 2000.

  • Some 170 million people who would have chosen contraception will not be able to do so. The number of unintended pregnancies will rise by 230 million.
  • Abortions will increase by 92 million. Unwanted births will rise by 110 million. Maternal deaths will rise by 540,000, and an additional 6.5 million infants and 2.4 million children will die from inadequate health care.

Sources: (1) Except where indicated, all figures are from UNFPA, Coming Up Short: Struggling to Implement the Cairo Programme of Action, (New York: 1997). (2) UNFPA, Global Population Assistance Report, 1996 (New York: 1997),

January 1999