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Overseas Aid

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of overseas development aid and assistance was spent on population and reproductive health in (a) 2001-02, (b) 2002-03, (c) 2003-04, (d) 2004-05, (e) 2005-06 and (f) 2006-07. (177319)

[holding answer 21 January 2008]: DFID is the second largest donor to the health sector. Details on the amount of DFID’s bilateral expenditure spent in the health sector and directly on population and reproductive health activities over the last six years are shown in the table.

It is difficult to estimate exactly how much of DFID’s support to the health sector goes to population and reproductive health. DFID uses a range of funding mechanisms, including bilateral health system financing via government budgets, health sector support and multilateral support, and directly targeted projects. Many of these funding streams cannot easily be attributed to specific components of overall health improvement.

Table 1: DFID bilateral expenditure on population and reproductive health activities, 2002-03 to 2006-07, (£ million)

Of which:

Total DFID bilateral expenditure

expenditure in the health sector

Population and reproductive health activities

Proportion: Population and reproductive health over DFID total bilateral expenditure

2001-02

1,511.2

230.5

36.8

2.4

2002-03

1,745.9

268.3

39.0

2.2

2003-04

1,935.1

310.7

44.5

2.3

2004-05

2,110.9

368.1

40.8

1.9

2005-06

2,502.0

440.4

20.5

0.8

2006-07

2,561.8

489.6

28.6

1.1

This trend reflects the changing ways in which we give aid, using a combination of budget support and multilateral assistance. The figures in the third column only include directly targeted support and exclude other expenditure which will have an impact on population and reproductive health in developing countries such as broader support to strengthen health systems. DFID bilateral expenditure in the health sector grew by an annual average of 16.3 per cent. over 2001-02 to 2006-07 and totalled £2.1 billion over this period.

DFID also provides multilateral assistance to a range of organisations, some of which is used on population and reproductive health activities. For example, DFID provided over £126 million in support to the UN’s Population Fund over the period 2001-02 to 2006-07.