World leaders are convening in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. Their agenda is packed with high-level events to promote gender equality, sustainable development, education, and peace and security. Less talked about is the fact that investments in family planning can reap benefits in all these areas.
In fact, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) study in seven countries showed that for every dollar invested in family planning and reproductive health, there is significant savings in education, immunization, water and sanitation, and malaria. Savings range from $2 in Ethiopia to up to $9 in Bolivia for every dollar invested. With that type of value, funding family planning should be a no-brainer. So, how much are donor countries really investing?
We compared each donor’s actual funding for family planning and reproductive health to their fair share of funding. Then we ranked them based on how close they come to meeting their fair share. Rankings can be very telling: only two countries—Luxembourg and The Netherlands—even come close to meeting their fair share of funding for family planning and reproductive health. We “Thank” them for leading the way.
A small set of countries including Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are funding at least one-third of their fair share. This is good, but it is time for these countries to “Break Open the Banks” and meet their fair share.
The vast majority of donors, including the United States, are falling far short of their fair share. They get “Spanks” (figuratively speaking, of course).
We hope that this healthy competition will give the delegates something to talk about during the high-level dialogues, cocktail receptions and dinner meetings. Who knows, next year the ranking could look very different. Let’s all aim for more “Thanks” and less “Spanks.”
Click here to see an explanation of our methodology.