UNFPA Supplies

UNFPA Supplies is the United Nations Population Fund's thematic programme dedicated to expanding access to family planning. 

UNFPA Supplies supports countries with the greatest needs, helping them to strengthen their supply chains so that women and adolescent girls can access a choice of contraceptives no matter where they live. The programme has a particular focus on 46 countries, in addition to providing support for reproductive health services in humanitarian crises.

Delivering reproductive health solutions globally

These supplies have the power to change lives – and to save them. Quality contraceptives, for example, empower couples to plan their families; basic, inexpensive medications keep women from bleeding to death during childbirth; and condoms protect people from HIV and sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.

UNFPA Supplies improve lives

Overall, 1.1 million lives may have been saved through the use of family planning methods provided by the Programme since its launch in 2008. These supplies also contributed to substantial cost savings for families and nations, allowing an estimated US$3 billion saving in direct health-care spending.

In 2016 alone, support from UNFPA Supplies has helped some 12.5 million women in more than 46 countries receive access to modern contraceptives and reproductive health services.

Contraceptives provided through UNFPA Supplies in 2016 had potential to avert an estimated (results of the UNFPA Supplies programme only, not UNFPA as a whole):

  • 7.1 million unintended pregnancies
  • 20,000 maternal deaths
  • 126,000 child deaths
  • 2.2 million unsafe abortions

UNFPA Supplies choices

Among development actors, UNFPA Supplies is the largest providers of contraceptives, and is committed to ensuring a choice of family planning methods and accurate information for women and adolescent girls.

UNFPA Supplies is pivotal to the achievement of the goal that the international community set in 2012 at the London Summit on Family Planning (FP2020) and provides an essential contribution to the Every Woman Every Child initiative.

How the UNFPA Supplies programme works 

UNFPA Supplies ensures a secure, steady and reliable supply of quality contraceptives and maternal health medicines, and it improves access and use by strengthening national health systems and services. We generate rights-based growth in the use of contraceptives, especially among vulnerable and hard-to-reach women and girls, by focusing resources where the needs are greatest and increasing country-directed funding for family planning.

  • Improve access to, and use of, modern contraceptives by scaling up proven interventions
  • Mobilize political and financial commitment to enable the environment
  • Integrate reproductive health supplies into national policies and allocations
  • Strengthen capacity for supply chain management and quality reproductive health services
  • Procure and deliver reproductive health supplies to keep quality high and prices low and optimize delivery times
UNFPA Supplies is working closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) on a Bridge Funding Mechanism.
UNFPA Supplies can only procure family planning supplies with cash on hand – yet the timing of donors’ funding disbursements and countries’ requests for commodities does not always match up. The proposed Bridge Funding Mechanism would provide up to an $80 million revolving pool of financing that UNFPA Supplies could use to place commodity orders immediately to meet country needs. The pool would be replenished when committed donor funding is disbursed later in the year.
It is expected that the Bridge Funding Mechanism would expedite the procurement process, lower the cost of commodities, and reduce up to 50 per cent of UNFPA-related commodity stock-outs.

Measurable results

UNFPA Supplies is particularly supporting 46 countries grappling with high maternal death rates, low rates of contraceptive use and a growing unmet need for family planning. More than half of these countries are also contending with humanitarian crises.

Since 2007, UNFPA Supplies’ efforts have increased access to, choice of, and use of modern contraceptives. They have also enhanced the capacity of national health systems to manage these supplies and to provide family planning, maternal health and HIV-prevention services. Family planning is increasingly being prioritized at the highest levels of national policies, plans and programmes.

Support to UNFPA Supplies

UNFPA Supplies is a proven mechanism that delivers results and represents a solid investment opportunity for those looking to contribute to expanding access to family planning as a centrepiece of sustainable development.

Since the fund was established in 2007, UNFPA Supplies has received donations from:

Australia, Belgium, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Nutrition International, Portugal, private individuals (online), the RMNCH Trust Fund, Slovenia, Spain, Spain-Cataluña, Sweden, Treehouse Investments, United Kingdom, Winslow Foundation

UNFPA Supplies is structured as a thematic trust fund, a performance-based and flexible mechanism that provides donors the opportunity to target their commitment to a particular thematic priority, allows for pooled multi-year funding and ensures more timely and flexible use of resources to address specific country needs. 

A dedicated Steering Committee gives donors full oversight of the programme.
 

The world is facing a crisis in funding for international family planning programmes, which are essential to supporting the rights and health of women everywhere. To sustain its work and continue serving growing target populations, UNFPA Supplies needs an additional $700 million for 2017-2020. Fully funded, the Programme could avert: 116 million unintended pregnancies, and provide savings in the cost of health care for families and nations of $5.5 billion.

Related web pages

Family planning

Procurement and supply chain

Donate

Sexual and reproductive health

Updated 17 July 2017

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