UNFPA has announced a major cut in its budget as a result of reduced funding from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). The budget contribution confirmed from the UK by UNFPA for 2021 is GBP 23 million for UNFPA supplies, the UNFPA flagship programme for family planning. The GBP 23 million is a significant dip from the expected contribution of million, (85%) from the GBP 154 million commitment for 2021.
UNFPA has been lauded for its efforts towards improving maternal health outcomes through increasing access to family planning and modern contraception for women, adolescents and young people in developing countries.
While Reach A Hand Uganda acknowledges the challenges that governments, multilateral and bilateral funding partners are facing, we also recognise the impact of the decision on international, national and community family planning and modern contraception programmes as a result of this decision.
Uganda has recorded a suboptimal decline in the total fertility rate (TFR) of about 27% from 7.4 to 5.4 which is consistent with the increased investment in Family Planning (FP) programs by multilateral organisations like UNFPA and use of Family planning by communities. The improved utilization of FP in Uganda and the declining TFR have corresponded with lower Maternal mortality rates. FP interventions have also minimised the risk of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions especially among adolescents and young people.
UNFPA has supported several NGOs in Africa and in Uganda whose beneficiaries may miss out on key programme interventions. Reach A Hand Uganda stands with the millions of women adolescents and young people who will be affected by this decision. The situation only strengthens our resolve to ensure we reach as many young people as possible with family planning, modern contraception, and other sexual reproductive Health Rights information and services.
Our prayer like the UNFPA is that the UK will reconsider, and supplement the current budget to ensure that millions of beneficiaries world over are buffered from the foreseen challenges relating limited access to contraception.