The Global Financing Facility and the United Nations Population Fund deepen efforts to accelerate progress toward sustainable financing for sexual and reproductive health commodities

8 March 2024 — On International Women's Day, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), a partnership hosted at the World Bank, announced a new collaboration aimed at transforming the financing landscape for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including family planning.

Bending the arc of progress in sexual and reproductive health, entails a new vision for sustainable financing that is country-led and -owned. In many countries, women and girls continue to face tremendous obstacles to accessing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health — including lack of available services, commodities, and information. Today, an estimated 257 million women want to avoid pregnancy but are not using safe and modern methods of contraception. A fifth of young women aged 20 to 24 years were married as children. These challenges are exacerbated by persistent gender inequalities, climate change, conflicts and humanitarian crises — all of which have a long lasting impact on women and youth.

At the same time, there is growing concern about the reliance on donated family planning and sexual and reproductive health commodities in low and some lower-middle income countries. Without the acceleration of commitments and strong sustainable financing approaches, the commodity financing gap will likely reach up to US$1.5 billion in the world's poorest countries by 2030.

To support countries to achieve their own goals for domestic financing of sexual and reproductive health, particularly family planning, this partnership between UNFPA and the GFF will offer a synergistic vision, marshaling their respective resources, strengths and relationships, to focus on country needs first.

The partnership will specifically:

1. Align financing for sexual and reproductive health commodities, and strengthen data use across partner countries.

2. Deepen technical coordination and joint financing in seven countries initially, under a country-led approach to end the commodity financing gap.

3. Bolster the evidence base and policies for increased sustainable financing for family planning and sexual and reproductive health commodities.

There is an urgent need to support countries in ensuring access to life saving commodities as more women seek to protect their health and their future. The GFF and UNFPA, are united in the conviction that building strong, resilient health care systems is among the smartest investments any country can make, and that universal access to SRHR and family planning is a fundamental right.

This new collaboration builds on the strong partnership forged during the 2021 Generation Equality Forum, as co-leads of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR and was reinforced at a session on the margins of the UN General Assembly in 2023, where several governments and philanthropies committed to increase investments to end the shortfall in funding for lifesaving family planning supplies.


Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

“The global commodity financing gap has real life implications for women and girls. No one should ever be denied the ability to fulfill their sexual and reproductive health needs, and no one sector can fill this gap alone. That is why UNFPA and the GFF are working across sectors, not only to fill the gap, but also to build country capacity and long-term financial sustainability. Together, we are modeling innovative approaches to sustainable financing for family planning. We have an important opportunity to blaze a new path for women and girls — one in which governments lead by increasing their own domestic spending on family planning and reproductive health supplies.”

Juan Pablo Uribe, Global Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank, and Director of the GFF

“Investing in sexual and reproductive health and rights is a cornerstone of development. When women and girls have access to sexual and reproductive health, they are better able to pursue education, participate in the workforce and contribute to their communities' social and economic development. But today, too many barriers are in the way, leaving millions of women and girls without access to basic healthcare. This new partnership between GFF and UNFPA is a critical step to support countries with sustainable financing of family planning commodities and ensure that all women can have access to the services they need."

Hawa Ba, Women's and Girls' Rights Activist, Mauritania

“The challenges facing young people are huge: that's why sexual and reproductive health and rights are crucial for our generation and must be a priority in our countries. This deepening partnership between GFF and UNFPA is the collaboration that we as advocates want to see to drive more impact and sustainability for countries. I look forward to supporting the implementation and ensuring mutual accountability.”

Dr. Roger Kamba, Minister of Health, Hygiene and Prevention, Democratic Republic of Congo

“Over the past years, my country has launched a number of reform initiatives to improve access to and quality of health services for the entire population, starting with mothers and children, women and adolescents. While we have made significant progress, much remains to be done and this will take increased collaboration and coordination of international partners behind country-led plans. DRC sees this deeper partnership announced today between UNFPA and the GFF as a critical opportunity to help drive for even more impact in communities.”

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