In 2001, the Interim Working Group on Reproductive Health Commodity Security, a forerunner of todayâ€™s Supplies Coalition, published what would arguably become one of the most powerful and effective tools for galvanizing international support on behalf of reproductive health commodity security. Entitled Contraceptive Projections and the Donor Gap, the report envisioned increasing shortfalls in the availability of donor resources required to satisfy the growing unmet need for contraceptive supplies. It called on global donors to increase their funding by $24 million and to sustain those increases by 5.3 percent annually. It also painted an ominous picture of the potential social and health consequences of failing to do so.
In the years since its publication, the donor gap has remained a ubiquitous element in the literature on supply security. The universality of the gapâ€™s message, coupled with the visual simplicity of its two divergent lines, has moved governments worldwide to confront what has come to be known as the "supply challenge."
By 2006, however, many supply advocates saw the need for a more updated global gap. Responding to their calls, the Coalitionâ€™s Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group initiated a process to update and re-position the gap model as an effective advocacy tool for the years to come. Contraceptive Projections and the Donor Gap (2009) is the product of that effort. Authored by John Stover and Eva Weissman of the Futures Institute with support from USAID | DELIVER, the report focuses on the current demand for contraceptives in 88 developing countries that depend on donor supplies. Future commodity needs are projected for two scenarios: one assuming that all unmet need for family planning will be satisfied by 2015 as specified in the ICPD and the MDGs, and the other one based on the medium variant projections of the United Nations Population Division-projections that assume a more gradual contraceptive prevalence increase that is based on historical trends.
Contraceptive Projections and the Donor Gap (2009), presents a frank portrayal of past success and the challenges that lie ahead. The dire predictions of 2001 did not, as we now know, come to pass. Donor funding, though highly variable, did - to a large extent - keep pace with the growing demand for contraceptives. But such success, the report points out, offers little room for complacency. Increases in the number of contraceptive users - especially younger users - coupled with the growing demand for condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention means that by the year 2020, an estimated US$424 million will be required in commodity support to satisfy all demand for contraceptives in donor-dependent countries. And even if donor funding were to remain at or near current levels, the shortfall would be almost US$200 million annually, with a cumulative shortfall of about US$1.4 billion over the 2008-2020 period.