Press Release

Nearly $1 Billion Needed for Family Planning Supplies and Condoms For HIV/AIDS Prevention, Says UNFPA’s Executive Director

3 May 2001
Author: UNFPA

Istanbul - Funding required for contraceptive commodities for family planning and condoms for preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, will rise from $946 million in 2002 to $1.8 billion per year by 2015, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Thoraya Obaid, said today.

Despite this growing need, donor support for contraceptives, including condoms, is at its lowest level in five years and far below what is currently required.

Making these commodities accessible in developing countries through quality services, Ms. Obaid stressed, will require additional costs in the order of $4 billion in 2002, rising to some $9 billion per year by 2015.

Ms. Obaid spoke on the funding shortage at the opening of a global meeting here. Entitled “Meeting the Reproductive Health Challenge: Securing Contraceptives, and Condoms for HIV/AIDS Prevention”, the 3-5 May forum seeks to highlight the worldwide problem of securing contraceptive supplies and condoms for family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention, and to identify what must be done in response.

Between 1992 and 1996, international donors provided an average of 41 per cent of contraceptive commodity requirements; the rest came from the developing countries themselves. To match these levels, donors would need to provide about $385 million next year and the developing countries $555 million.

“The most alarming consequences of the financial shortfall, where a condom crisis exists today, are in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention,” said Ms. Obaid, citing current HIV infection rates. “Widespread availability of male and female condoms, combined with effective efforts to change people’s behaviour, is central to any prevention strategy. But in all of the affected countries, the supply of condoms is far short of what is needed.”

Additional funding to address that shortage of commodities for preventing HIV/AIDS will, however, work only as an integral part of a larger strategy, Ms. Obaid emphasized.

“We have to promote gender equality and combat violence against women; to expand the reach of quality reproductive health services; and to overcome economic, social and cultural factors driving the spread of HIV/AIDS,” she said. “To prevent unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of HIV/AIDS among youth, more education and information are needed, including information on responsible sexual behaviour and abstinence. Young women and girls, in particular, need access to services to help them protect themselves as well as to education.”

The UNFPA for its part, Ms. Obaid said, has developed a global strategy for reproductive health commodity security to help developing countries meet the goals of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. It will continue in its global leadership role, helping countries procure quality, low-cost reproductive health supplies.

Working closely with its partners, she added, the Fund will expand advocacy for resource mobilization, and help develop technical resources, including mechanisms for early warning of shortfalls and for follow-up, as well as standards and training materials. The UNFPA will also work with national partners in programme countries on ways to better identify commodity supply gaps and coordinate donor, non-governmental organization (NGO) and private sector support.

“Meeting the Reproductive Health Challenge” has more than 100 participants from multilateral, bilateral and private foundation donors; NGOs; and delegations including senior government officials from nine developing countries—Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Turkey and Viet Nam.

The United States-based NGOs Population Action International and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) organized the meeting, along with John Snow, Inc., and the Wallace Global Fund. It was financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The UNFPA projected funding needs through 2015, the year by which universal access to reproductive health services should be attained, according to the ICPD Programme of Action. That year is also the date by which the international community has committed itself to halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, in the Millennium Declaration adopted last September in New York by about 150 Heads of State and Government.

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The UNFPA, a cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), spent about $46 million on HIV prevention in 1998-1999. It is the largest multilateral source of population assistance to developing countries and has provided more than $5 billion in resources to developing countries since it became operational in 1969. The United Nations General Assembly has thanked the Fund for its work since then in creating awareness of population problems, providing systematic and sustained assistance to developing countries, and helping to improve the quality of human life.

Contact Information:

William A. Ryan
New Yorj
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446

Abubakar Dungus
Temp. Phone : +221 521 0975

Population : 85 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 94%
Girls 0.99%

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