• United Kingdom

    Context

    The UK is one of the largest European donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and an active proponent of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and family planning (SRH/FP) within ODA. The UK met the target of 0.7% GNI to ODA, after the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act enshrined this ongoing commitment in law from 2015 to 2020. However, the UK's legal commitment to 0.7% GNI to ODA will be reduced to 0.5% for 2021 and beyond until fiscal tests are met. In September 2020, the Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office merged to form the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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    Policies & funding

    The UK has committed to taking a strong stand for women and girls and to promoting equity in both its programmes and in global processes such as the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UK places a strong emphasis on health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and on women and girls.

    In December 2021, the UK launched a new approach paper on Ending Preventable Deaths of Mothers, Babies and Children which sets out key actions to 2024 and a strategic direction to 2030. The UK’s approach includes a pillar on ‘Human rights, gender and equality’ which places an emphasis on accelerating progress on SRHR, gender and equalities and human rights, as central to ending the preventable deaths of mothers, babies and children. In 2021, the government also adopted the Girls’ Education Action Plan 2021-2026, which includes a policy commitment to FP2030.

    UK funding to SRH/FP was significantly reduced as a result of the decrease in the of size the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and later reduction of 0.7% GNI to ODA to 0.5%. The reductions include an 85 per cent cut to UNFPA Supplies in 2020, from £154 million to £23 million, reduction in core operating costs to UNFPA and significant reductions to bilateral funding. Analysis by the Guttmacher Institute found that for the fiscal year 2021-22, the FCDO was expected to provide at least £218.9 million for family planning and this would be reduced by £132.4 million. These cuts would result in 9.5 million fewer women and couples receiving contraceptive supplies and services. Despite this substantive reduction, the UK remained the larger European contributor to SRH/FP and the broader SRHR agenda.

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    Internationally vocal

    To reinvigorate support on FP2020 commitments made at the first FP summit in July 2012, DFID, UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought together major stakeholders at an FP Summit in July 2017, in London. The UK government committed to increase its existing commitment to FP alone by 25%, to an average of €254 million a year, and extended its commitment by a further two years, up to 2022.

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    Key Documents

    Updated January 2022


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