Posted by Maria Codina on January 18, 2018 at 8:52 am
2017 has been a year full of political change throughout many European countries, as well as globally. An increasingly vocal conservative voice in several European countries continues to challenge sexual and reproductive health achievements of recent years, with further cuts made to Official Development Assistance (ODA) or diverted to cover domestic costs of the refugee crisis. Further, the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule by the US president is affecting global health funding. At the same time, European governments have stepped up and remain committed to improving SRH/FP through political support and funding, evidenced by numerous new policies and strategic plans. In Denmark, a new Development and Humanitarian strategy places SRHR at the centre of its work. Norway’s development policy commits to prioritizing SRHR within health and gender equality. In Switzerland, a new Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Strategy was published by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs – the first time SRHR is included with such a strong commitment at that level. And finally, a key achievement of 2017 was the recognition of SRH/FP as an important area of investment in the new European Consensus for Development, the main policy paper defining a shared vision and framework for action for development cooperation for the European Union, and the political basis for the planning of the next EU budget.
The past year has also seen SRH/FP feature prominently in a range of global fora, bringing with it a sense of momentum for change. This went hand in hand with new funding commitments in the context of the SheDecides initiative and at the FP Summit, by seven of the C2030E countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
When it comes to funding expenditures, there was a decrease in population assistance funding and funding to UNFPA of 11% across all C2030E countries between 2015 and 2016. However, figures were maintained at similar levels or even increased in seven C2030E countries for population assistance (i.e. Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland), and in eight countries for UNFPA funding (i.e. France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland).
Going forward, increased transparency and accountability will be needed to fully track and monitor newly pledged funds, including in the context of SheDecides and FP2020. Furthermore, current commitments will not be able to reverse the trend or address the funding crisis facing global SRH/FP programmes in the long-run. The C2030E consortium’s role in tracking existing expenditures and advocacy for multi-year pledges sustaining investments will be crucial over the coming years.
Click to read full report: Countdown2030Europe_EuropeanDonorTrackingSRHFPSupport 2016-2017.pdf