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General News of Tuesday, 10 January 2023


Buhari regime seeking donors to pay Nigeria’s $4 million family planning debts

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime says it is relying on donor partners to pay its contribution of $4 million for the annual purchase of contraceptives through a Basket Fund with external donors.

Health minister Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during the bi-weekly ministerial meeting on the update of coronavirus response and development in the country’s health sector.

Ehanire, in March 2022, renewed the financial commitment on behalf of Nigeria with the backing of the Federal Executive Council.

The country, with UNFPA, the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health agency, and others, committed to sharing the cost of contraceptives with UNFPA as of 2023.

In line with Nigeria’s FP2020 commitment, the Buhari regime should contribute $4 million annually to purchase contraceptives through a Basket Fund with external donors.

However, Nigeria has yet to commit to this sum since 2018, and contributions from the UNFPA and other donors account for the bulk of funds utilised to procure family planning commodities in the country.

However, the need to increase domestic financing became paramount to ensure sustainable financing for family planning commodities and service provision, to reduce severe donor dependency, especially in the face of dwindling foreign aid.

The minister did not disclose the donor partners that would bail out the country from this debt. He blamed the $4 million debts on coronavirus pandemic.

“Why the country could not pay its counterpart funding for FP was that COVID-19 became the immediate problem the government needed to solve then,” stated Mr Ehanire. “As soon as we have finalised the plans, we will disclose the donor partners.”

The minister also mentioned that the coronavirus pandemic had diverted funding from essential family planning services and strained national health budgets, reinforcing the critical need to finance sexual and reproductive health services in times of crisis.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a survey of 105 countries found that 90 per cent had health service disruptions due to the pandemic and 68 per cent reported disruptions to family planning services.

Currently, an estimated 257 million women want to avoid pregnancy but are not using safe and modern methods of contraception. From 2020 to 2030, the total investment needed to end the unmet need for family planning in 120 countries is estimated at $ 68.5 billion.

Donor partners are currently projected to provide $8.6 billion of this financing between 2020 and 2030, meaning that an additional $59.9 billion is needed to end the unmet needs for family planning.

Total resources need to increase from around $6.3 billion annually in 2020 to around $10.8 billion annually by 2030.

Over the last several decades, significant progress has been made in increasing access to and the availability of contraceptives worldwide.

According to the 2022 State of World Population Report, global use has increased, and unmet needs have declined.

More than three-quarters of the 1.1 billion women who desire to limit or delay childbearing are using a modern method of contraception.