Funding population programmes

Financing family planning delivery systems
Providing financial assistance for population schemes
Population activities include: studies relating to population dynamics; population data collection and analysis; formulation and evaluation of population policy; family planning as integrated in maternal and child health and primary health-care approaches; population information, education and communication; and other special programmes. It may also include gender considerations in population and development. Finding is notably provided for technical assistance to fertility control programmes, family planning organizations and manufacturers and distributors of primary health and family planning products.
Multilateral population assistance is provided by those United Nations agencies and organizations that carry out population-related programmes. For many of those organizations, funds committed to population activities come primarily from UNFPA and to a lesser extent from their own regular budgets and other funding sources. UNFPA is the most important source of multilateral population assistance: it is the major source of population funding for other multilateral organizations within the UN system and it supports a large quantity of assistance directly through national execution. The World Bank - and increasingly the regional development banks - are another major multilateral source of population assistance through the loans and credits that they disburse.
The UN system has continued to strengthen the substantive content of its programmes and to increase the volume of financial assistance to the developing countries. For the UN system as a whole, assistance to population programmes increased from US$181 million in 1987 to $248 million in 1992. The bulk of that assistance has come from the UN Population Fund. UNFPA brings together potential donors and developing countries in need of support for population activities through a system of multi-bilateral or 'multi-bi' funding, by: aiding a government in developing a project and seeking assistance from a donor to implement it; enlisting donors' help in the provision of expertise, equipment, supplies or funds; creating a trust fund to manage donors' contributions; or jointly financing a project with a donor. It determines 'priority countries' whose per capita income and demographic characteristics indicate they are most in need of population assistance.

Fund for Technology Transfer encourages the growth of companies involved in providing primary health and family planning products that meet the needs of people in developing countries. In addition to financing, the Fund provides companies with business planning, technical assistance, project development and other services that may not be available through traditional banking institution. The Fund's representatives work with a company to evaluate its financial and production requirements as well as the potential public health benefit of the project. This process may require using one of more of the following services: feasibility analysis; business planning; technical support; financial assistance. The Fund offers firms several types of financing packages including: US dollar loans; equipment procurement and loan guarantees.

It is instructive at the outset to place the multilateral population assistance provided by the UN system in the context of global population assistance, of which it is an important component. In 1990, the total international assistance for population programmer amounted to $972 million, including World Bank loans and credits. Of that total, $669 million came from donor countries, including $217 million channelled through UNFPA, while the rest of the UN system provided $86 million and private sources $48 million. World Bank loans in 1990 amounted to $169 million.

In 1991, international population assistance in the form of grants and loans increased to $1,306 million, a 34% increase over 1990. International population assistance from donor countries amounted to $774 million, of which $229 million was channelled through UNFPA. The rest of the UN system contributed $102 million and private donors $76 million. World Bank loans increased to $354 million in 1991, accounting for more than half of the total increase in assistance.

Accepting the difficulties of incomplete reporting, a preliminary estimated total commitment of international funds for population assistance by donor countries for 1992 is $762 million, including $245 million for UNFPA. It should be emphasized that, for the reasons given above, that preliminary figure may still undergo significant modification before it is reported to the UNDP Governing Council in mid-1994. In 1992, World Bank commitments for loans and credits declined to an estimated $106 million.

Within the UN system (excluding the World Bank), UNFPA has provided the largest proportion of funds to international population assistance: in both 1989 and 1992, UNFPA contributed 81% of all funds routed through the UN system.

The above-mentioned trends should be seen in the context of the demand for family planning and expanded reproductive health services that will arise in the developing world in the near future. Following the encouraging upward trend in contraceptive use over the past two decades, it is projected that by 1995 there will be over 470 million contraceptive users in the developing co un tries. By the year 2000, that number will approach 600 million. Latest estimates of the resources that will be required to meet worldwide demand in the year 2000 amount to $13,000 million (in 1993 USA dollars), consisting of $10,300 million for basic family planning and supporting services; $600 million for intensified data and policy analysis needs; $1,200 million for expanded primary health-care-based reproductive health services; and $1,300 million for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted diseases through information/ education and the supply of condoms.

Globally, assistance to population programmes and projects for developing countries is channelled to countries under one of three main modalities: by bilateral agencies; by multilateral agencies; or by non-governmental organizations. Of the total expenditures for population-related assistance in 1991, about 39% was transferred directly through bilateral channels; 34% through multilateral agencies; and 27% through non-governmental organizations. Although trends in those shares are not entirely clear, there seems to have been a shift towards greater direct bilateral assistance at the expense of the multilateral channel, given that in 1982 the corresponding percentages were 28, bilateral; 42, multilateral; and 30, non-governmental organizations.

The distribution of international assistance by channel differed from region to region. In Africa, project execution using direct bilateral assistance accounted for 44% of the funds; followed by multilateral means, 37%; and non-governmental organizations, 18%.

In Asia and the Pacific, direct bilateral assistance made up 53% of funding in 1991; followed by 32% through the UN system; and 14% through non-governmental organizations. The other region where the bilateral channel was dominant was western Asia (55%).

Between 1989 and 1991, some regional trends in channels of population assistance are notable. In sub-Saharan Africa, the non-governmental organization channel became relatively less important, declining from 33 to 18% of the total, while the shares of total international assistance through direct bilateral and multilateral conduits both grew larger. A similar, though much less pronounced, trend is evident in Asia and the Pacific. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the proportion of population assistance channelled through non-governmental organizations contracted. In western Asia, on the other hand, no trends are evident over that period.

Considering expenditures for population programmes from multilateral sources alone, Africa and Asia and the Pacific have received the largest share of population assistance, mainly because both bilateral and multilateral agencies have given priority to those regions. In 1991, each received 37% of total multilateral funds, while Latin America and the Caribbean received 15%, western Asia 10% and Europe about 1%. The same pattern of regional allocations is revealed by the distribution of UNFPA funds. In 1991, 33% of UNFPA funds went to Asia and the Pacific, 32% to Africa, 10% to Latin America and the Caribbean, 7% to western Asia and 2% to Europe. Interregional programmes in UN FPA received 16% of its funds.

Asia and the Pacific has received a declining share of population resources. In 1986, the region received 52% of funds; in 1991, it received only 37%. In contrast, assistance to Africa has increased, from 26% in 1986 to 37% in 1991. Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean also increased, from 10.2% in 1986 to 15% in 1991. Western Asia has consistently received about 10% of total multilateral funding.

Regarding UNFPA funding, the share of Asia and the Pacific has also declined, from 41% in 1986 to 33% in 1991. Africa has increasingly received more funds, from 22% in 1986 to 32% in 1991. Latin America and the Caribbean has received from 12 to 13% of UN FPA funds and western Asia about 9 to 10% over the period under consideration.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 10: Reduced Inequality