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Overseas Aid: Family Planning

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to ensure his Department's policies meet internationally agreed development goals in relation to provision of services relating to family planning, reproductive health and meeting the needs of young people; and if he will allocate 10 per cent. of overseas development assistance to population assistance. (270272)

The Department for International Development (DFID) accepts that there is a large, well documented, unmet need for family planning and is working to address this. We provide significant resources to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information, services and supplies (e.g. contraceptives). DFID supports the core work of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) with £8.5 million per annum and is providing £100 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) over the five-year period to 2013 to increase access to reproductive health commodities. Our bilateral programme supports contraceptive supply directly in several developing countries.

The UK Government are also committed to spending £6 billion on strengthening health systems and services over the seven years to 2015. Strong health education programmes, including targeted youth services, sexual and reproductive health and maternal health programmes are key elements of a well functioning health system.

DFID does not plan to adopt the target of allocating 10 per cent. of overseas development assistance to population assistance. DFID's country-led development approach is to support recipient governments to spend development assistance on the priorities they set themselves for helping their people out of poverty. DFID is committed to working to the Paris Principles concerning donor harmonisation and as part of this strongly supported the outcome of the recent the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to drive partner country ownership and leadership and for donors to support this.