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Africa: Abortions

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much he has allocated to tackling unsafe abortions in Africa; and on what projects this funding is being committed. (211825)

The Department for International Development's (DFID) main allocation to tackling unsafe abortions in Africa is £7.5 million through the ‘Safe Abortion Action Fund’, administered by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) and Ipas. This investment aims to strengthen regional organisations and networks that advocate for safe abortion; support advocacy and production of policy relevant research; have an impact at country level and regional level on policy change and service delivery; and increase utilisation of quality safe abortion and post-abortion services.

DFID also provides significant resources via government budgets in Africa to strengthen countries’ health systems including sexual and reproductive health services (e.g. in 2006-07, £257.6 million to general budget support and £21.2 million direct to government health budgets).

DFID also supports African countries to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services and supplies, and sex education. For example, DFID has committed £100 million over five years to United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to improve access to family planning and reproductive health supplies. In Ethiopia, DFID had distributed 1.3 million condoms by the end of August 2007. DFID is also funding a £35 million programme with the Population Council called ‘transitions to adulthood’, which is helping nine developing countries—including South Africa, Uganda and Kenya—to develop better curricula for gender education, including sex education.