Europe cuts family planning aid for poor countries

2nd October 2008

European governments cut family planning funding in their development aid, finds Euromapping, a study presented today by two Coalition members - the German Foundation for World Population (DSW) and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF). According to the latest data, funding for family planning and basic reproductive health services in poor countries fell by 7.8%, a loss of more than US$ 160 Million. This leaves millions of people suffering unnecessarily from maternal and infant deaths, unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions. DSW and EPF called upon EU governments - notably their Development Cooperation Ministers who recently met in Bordeaux, France - to reverse this worrying trend.

Despite the commitment of European governments to help women and families in poor countries access family planning and reproductive health services, the Euromapping study shows that these commitments are not honored with the required funds. This leaves 200 million women unable to access family planning services and 1 in 16 women in sub-Saharan Africa dead during pregnancy or child birth.

 "The European Parliament has called for more funding for maternal health, in its September 4 resolution, and EU governments repeatedly affirm their commitment to reproductive health," stated MEP Anne Van Lancker. "Where is the money to back up this rhetoric?"

 As European Development Ministers discussed European aid at their informal meeting in Bordeaux, Euromapping shows that family planning funds are neglected in real aid disbursements. "European civil society cares about these issues", said Karen Hoehn, DSW Vice Executive Director. "Euromapping tragically reveals the empty promises of some EU governments on aid for family planning in poor countries".

Euromapping is the only comprehensive study analysing EU development aid for population assistance. It "names and shames" good and bad performers, and includes specific recommendations to improve reproductive health and reduce poverty. Additional highlights:

  • In 2007, EU ODA reached 64% of the world´s total, while in real terms falling by $1.6 billion.
  • Greece, Austria, Portugal and Italy each spend less than $US 1.00 per capita on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in poor countries.

For further information on Euromapping, please visit the website

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