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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Report of the Flow of Financial Resources for the Implementation of the ICPD PoA
ISSUE 2 - 28 April 2003
The second issue of our IPCI/ICPD Global Population Policy Update focuses on funding trends for population activities. The information in this newsletter was excerpted from a UNFPA report prepared for the 36th session of the Commission on Population and Development entitled, “Flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.”
International population assistance and domestic expenditures, which had been increasing steadily but slowly since the International Conference on Population and Development was held in 1994, declined in 2001, according to preliminary figures. External assistance for population was estimated at $2.3 billion in 2001, compared with $2.6 billion in 2000. Domestic governmental and non-governmental expenditures in developing countries were estimated at $7.1 billion in 2001, compared with $8.6 billion in 2000. The estimate of domestic expenditures should be treated with caution because the data are far from complete and are not entirely comparable with those on international assistance. Furthermore, it should be noted that most domestic resource flows originate in a few large countries. Together, external assistance and domestic expenditures for population activities yielded a global estimate of $9.4 billion in 2001, as compared with a target figure for 2000 of $17 billion estimated in the Programme of Action.
The present report has been prepared by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in response to a request of the Commission on Population and Development at its twenty-eighth session for an annual report on the flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.
The report reviews the flow of external financial resources for 2000 and provisional figures for 2001 and provides estimates of expenditures by governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for population activities in developing countries for 2001. Data on both donor and domestic resource flows were collected by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) under a contract with UNFPA. NIDI and UNFPA jointly evaluated and analysed the data.
The report analyses external and domestic financial resource flows for population activities that are part of the costed population package set out in paragraph 13.14 of the Programme of Action. The population package includes family planning services; basic reproductive health services for maternal health; activities for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS; and basic research, data and population and development policy analysis. The Programme of Action estimated that the implementation of this population and reproductive health package in the developing countries and countries with economies in transition would cost $17 billion by 2000. Approximately two thirds of the projected costs would come from the countries themselves and one third, or $5.7 billion, would come from the international donor community.
Assistance for population activities flows through a diverse network, moving from the donor to the recipient country through one of the following channels: (a) the bilateral channel, flowing directly from the donor to the recipient country government; (b) the multilateral channel, through United Nations organizations and agencies; and (c) the non-governmental organization channel, through such organizations as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Population Council. In 2000, over half of all population assistance went through the non-governmental channel, and bilateral programmes and multilateral organizations each received 23 per cent. Provisional figures for 2001 show that this has remained unchanged, with the non-governmental channel continuing to dominate the flow of final expenditures.
II. External Assistance for Population Activities
External assistance for population activities has been increasing steadily, albeit slowly, since the Conference. In the period immediately following the Conference, assistance for population activities increased 54 per cent, from a total of $1.3 billion in 1993 to $2 billion in 1995. Assistance increased negligibly in 1996, to just over $2 billion, but by 1997 it had decreased for the first time since the Conference, to $1.96 billion. This slight downward trend was reversed in 1998, when the amount rose to $2.1 billion. In 1999, assistance stood at $2.2 billion and by 2000 it was almost $2.6 billion.
Preliminary indications are that this upward trend was reversed in 2001. International assistance for population activities decreased to $2.3 billion in 2001. This figure represents just 40 per cent of the $5.7 billion target agreed upon in Cairo as the international community’s share in financing the Programme of Action by 2000.
Donor countries contributed some $1.5 billion for population assistance, multilateral organizations and agencies increased funding levels to $89 million and private sources decreased their contributions to $233 million. The World Bank made available $449 million in the form of multi-year loans and $2 million in the form of grants to population programmes; these figures reflect a decrease in loans and an increase in grants.
A. Trends in Donor Country Assistance
Bilateral assistance increased from $777 million in 1993 to $1.6 billion in 2000. The United States of America continued to be the largest donor, contributing $659 million in population assistance in 2000, or 41 per cent of the resources of the donor countries. The Netherlands was the second largest donor, contributing $170 million in population assistance, or 11 per cent of funds contributed by donor countries. Other major donors in 2000 were the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Canada.
Provisional figures for 2001 point to a decrease in total bilateral population assistance to $1.5 billion.
Provisional 2001 figures show that family planning services accounted for 32 per cent of final expenditures for population activities; basic reproductive health services, 30 per cent; STD and HIV/AIDS activities, 29 per cent; and basic research, data and population and development policy analysis, 9 per cent. As the 2001 figures for more donors become available, it is expected that the proportion of expenditures for HIV/AIDS activities will increase because of the increased emphasis on addressing the global AIDS pandemic, including the Millennium Development Goal of combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and the creation of the global HIV/AIDS Fund. These percentages should be treated as estimates because, with the trend towards integration of services, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish between the four categories of population activities. Many data-recording systems include family planning services and/or STD and HIV/AIDS activities with reproductive health services.
Population Assistance as a Percentage of Official Development Assistance
Donor countries contributed 2.93 per cent of their total official development assistance (ODA) to population assistance in 2000, which represented an increase after a two-year decline. Preliminary figures for 2001 show that the proportion of ODA going to population activities decreased to 2.79 per cent. Since total ODA decreased from $53.7 billion in 2000 to $52.3 billion in 2001, population activities are receiving a smaller share of decreasing ODA. ODA in 2001 was below the 1993 level of $56.3 billion.
Population Assistance in Relation to Gross National Product
In 2000, donor countries contributed, on average, $66 per million dollars of gross national product for population assistance, a $7 increase from the previous year. The preliminary figure for 2001 shows a decline — $61 per million dollars. The average dollar amount conceals the large variation between countries, ranging from $6 to $342 per million dollars. Despite the decrease, the amount of money that countries spent on population assistance is still more than the pre-Cairo period in 1993, when it stood at $42 per million dollars of gross national product.
B. Trends in Multilateral Assistance
In 2000, $434 million flowed through multilateral organizations and agencies; the preliminary figure for 2001 is $365 million. UNFPA is the leading provider of United Nations assistance in the population field, with $326 million flowing through the organization in 2000 and $339 million in 2001.
Most loans for population assistance come from the World Bank, which supports reproductive health and family planning service delivery, population policy development, HIV/AIDS prevention and fertility, and health survey and census work. The World Bank reported lending $449 million for population activities in 2001, down from $538 million in 2000.
C. Trends in Private Assistance
Foundations, non-governmental organizations and other private organizations are also important sources of population assistance. In 2000, foundations and NGOs contributed $299 million to population activities. The top five foundations funding population activities in 2000 were the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The preliminary 2001 figure for private population assistance stands at $233 million. It seems that the economic downturn affected the contributions of a number of foundations.
D. Trends in Expenditures by Geographical Region and Channel of Assistance
Provisional figures for 2001 point to an increase in funds going to sub-Saharan Africa, which received 45 per cent of the population assistance contributed to the five geographical regions. Asia and the Pacific received 31 per cent; Latin America and the Caribbean, 12 per cent; Western Asia and North Africa, 9 per cent; and Eastern and Southern Europe, 2 per cent. In 2001, 29 per cent of total population assistance went to global and interregional activities.
III. Domestic Financial Resources for Population Activities
UNFPA calculated a rough estimate of global domestic resource flows for population activities that came to $7.1 billion in 2001.
Although the global figure of domestic resource flows is a rough estimate, it is nevertheless useful in providing some idea of the progress made by developing countries, as a group, in achieving the financial resource goals of the Conference. The global total shows real commitment on the part of developing countries, but it should be noted that most domestic resource flows originate in a few large countries. Many countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries, faced with competing development priorities, are simply unable to generate the resources necessary to finance their own national population programmes. Case studies confirm that the international donor community plays an important role in financing population activities in most developing countries and that, in some countries, funding for population activities is largely donor-based. National NGOs play an increasing role in the provision of services, but they remain highly dependent on external sources.
Almost one third of governmental expenditures was allocated to STD and HIV/AIDS activities, 27 per cent to family planning services, 26 per cent to basic reproductive health services and 16 per cent to basic research, data and population and development policy analysis. National NGOs distributed their funds as follows: 34 per cent for family planning services; 36 per cent for basic reproductive health services; 23 per cent for STD and HIV/AIDS activities; and 8 per cent for basic research, data and population and development policy analysis.
IV. Resource Flows for Other Population-Related Activities
Both donor and developing countries have indicated that a significant amount of resource flows go to other population-related activities that address the broader population and development objectives of the Cairo agenda but that have not been costed out and are not part of the agreed target of $17 billion by 2000.
The growing trend towards the integration of services and the increasing use of sector-wide approaches, particularly in health and education, make it more difficult to track the level of funding going to the costed population package. As a result, more resources are spent on population activities than are reported here because sometimes it is not possible to isolate the costed population package in integrated projects and sector-wide approaches from the relevant population-related activities that are not included in paragraph 13.14 of the Programme of Action.
There was some progress, albeit rather modest, since the Conference was held in mobilizing financial resources to achieve the goals of the Conference. International assistance for population activities increased from a total of $1.3 billion in the immediate pre-Cairo period in 1993 to $2.6 billion in 2000. But the trend seems to have been reversed, and preliminary data put the figure at $2.3 billion in 2001. This figure represents only 40 per cent of the 2000 target of $5.7 billion agreed upon in Cairo.
Developing countries are making efforts to mobilize domestic resources for population activities and, as a group, have met more of their share of the commitment made in Cairo, mobilizing almost 63 per cent of the target of $11.3 billion. However, most of the resource flows come from a few large countries; the majority of developing countries are not in a position to generate the necessary funds to cover the cost of their population programmes and rely on external assistance.
Since 1994, health-care costs have skyrocketed and the AIDS pandemic in many of the poorest developing countries is of a magnitude that had never been envisaged at the time of the Cairo conference. The need to mobilize adequate resources has become more acute than ever, both to implement the Programme of Action as well as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Implementing the Cairo Programme of Action, especially the reproductive health goal, is essential for meeting the Millennium Development Goals directly related to health, social and economic outcomes, especially those in the areas of children, mothers, HIV/AIDS, gender and poverty. It is essential that population issues figure prominently in development programmes and poverty reduction strategies.
A lack of funding remains one of the chief constraints to the full implementation of the Programme of Action. Additional resources are urgently needed to fund population and development programmes in developing countries. It is essential that all Governments, of both donor and developing countries, recommit themselves to implementing the Cairo objectives and mobilizing the additional resources needed to reach the financial goals. Without a firm commitment to population, reproductive health and gender issues, it is unlikely that the goals and targets of the Conference and of the Millennium Summit will be met.
This report was prepared by Ann Pawliczko for the Commission on Population and Development.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (November 2002, Ottawa, Canada). These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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