By Iyemah David
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), has said that it’s relying on donor partners to pay its contribution of $4 million for the annual purchase of contraceptives through a Basket Fund with external donors.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, during the Ministerial bi-weekly meeting on the update of COVID-19 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.
In signing the country Compacts, with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, Nigeria and others committed to sharing the cost of contraceptives with UNFPA as of 2023.
In line with Nigeria’s FP2020 commitment, the federal government should contribute $4 million annually to purchase contraceptives through a Basket Fund with external donors.
However, Nigeria has not committed to this sum only 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.
Towards ensuring sustainable financing for family planning commodities and service provision, in Nigeria and reducing the severe donor dependency, especially in the face of dwindling foreign aid, the need to increase domestic financing is paramount.
The minister did not disclose the donor partners that would be bailing the country from this debt.
He blamed the $4 million debts on COVID -19 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. As soon as we have finalised the plans we will disclose the donor partners,” he said.
The minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has 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 Organization (WHO), 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 2020-2030, the total investment needed to end the unmet need for family planning in 120 countries is estimated at $ 68.5 billion.
Donors partners are currently projected to provide US$ 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 around the world.
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 with a desire to limit or delay childbearing are using a modern method of contraception.