Global family planning services run by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) need vital funding to fulfil the unmet modern contraceptive needs of 270 million women and girls worldwide.
Target 3.7 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls on countries “by 2030, to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education”. This target sits alongside SDG Goal 5, Gender Equality, and target 5.6 - universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Despite the goals, the number of women of reproductive age who wish to avoid pregnancy but who are not using any modern form of birth control is currently thought to be around 270 million, up from 232 million in 1990. By 2030, this number is likely to increase further to 272 million. When women and girls are afforded the ability to choose if and when they have children, they have the opportunity to pursue their educational and economic goals. Girls that stay in education usually go on to have smaller families.
The United Nations sexual and reproductive healthcare agency, the UNFPA, is one of the agencies responsible for meeting the targets. UNFPA Supplies, a dedicated programme run by UNFPA, is the world's largest supplier of donated contraceptives. The UNFPA relies entirely on voluntary donations from governments and other donors to support its work. Of the top 20 funders of the UNFPA (combined core and co-financing contributions) in 2018, only 13 out of the twenty G20 members feature. Some G20 members do not make any core contributions to the UNFPA at all. Collectively, G20 members account for approximately 90% of the gross world product (GWP), and two-thirds of the world population.
G20 members that do not appear in the 2018 UNFPA top 20 funders (combined core and co-financing contributions) list are: India, Russia, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey and the world's two largest economies, China and the USA. For four consecutive years, the United States has withheld critical funding from the UNFPA. It’s time for the G20 leaders to step up to meet the unmet needs of millions of women and girls around the world.
Read more about unmet contraceptive needs here.
Dear Leaders of G20 countries,
Around 270 million women in developing regions who don't want to get pregnant are not using any modern contraception, leading to high rates of unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortions, maternal and child mortality and illness, and contributing to continued poverty and gender inequality. There is currently a shortfall in funding for family planning provision where the need is greatest, with the effects of COVID-19 placing further pressure on the budgets and services of Less Developed Countries. We, the undersigned, call on you to help end the unmet need for contraceptives by:
Issuing a joint statement recognising the importance of investing in equal access to modern contraceptive methods worldwide, and its impact on achieving a sustainable population and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Confirming the responsibility of G20 members to provide funding for the provision of modern family planning internationally, taking account of differences in the size of members' economies and needs for domestic provision.
Committing your government to provide fair and sufficient funding to the UNFPA beyond 2022.
Thank you for your support.