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Donors Delivering 2021 report sheds light on the worsening situation for women and girls around the world

Brussels, September 17, 2021

Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) launched the 2021 Donors Delivering for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) report with a virtual panel discussion on 16 September. The report tracks and assesses donor support to SRHR, family planning (FP), and reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH), looking at the most recent available official data (2019).

COVID-19 has taken a severe toll on gender equality and SRHR across the world, reversing some of the important progress made in recent years. Some of the report’s findings regarding funding trends predating the pandemic are therefore all the more concerning. Despite the recent political will demonstrated by countries across the world, many are falling short on protecting and resourcing SRHR. The EU, the United Kingdom, and many other countries have reduced their contributions to SRHR in recent years.

Furthermore, large European donor countries are still outperformed by their smaller counterparts when it comes to prioritising SRHR disbursements as part of development assistance. For example, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Iceland are still far ahead of France and Germany when looking at SRHR disbursements as a percentage of total official development aid (ODA).

Speaking at the launch of the 2021 Donors Delivering Report, Lisa Goerlitz, Head of EU office for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) Brussels Office, stated: “It is crucial that the health and rights of all are protected. While we welcome recent moves by the European Union to recognise the importance of SRHR for example as part of their new Gender Action Plan (GAPIII), it is vital that the EU now takes concrete steps to increase support to SRHR for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Given France’s leadership this year in putting gender equality at the center of foreign policy, we have high expectations for their upcoming EU Council Presidency. We look forward to seeing SRHR being prioritised in the EU’s external actions and see those different commitments translate into increased disbursements.”

EPF Secretary, Neil Datta added: “A number of concerning trends have emerged in SRHR disbursements with a number of European donor countries simply not prioritising SRHR in their ODA. The 2021 Donors Delivering for SRHR report will help to raise awareness of the critical nature of this issue, and it is imperative that SRHR disbursements are prioritised by donors, in both internal and external actions. This is all the more important as anti-gender and discriminatory advocacy is also on the rise and is threatening the progress that has been made in recent years in the area of SRHR”.

DSW and EPF welcome the recent adoption of a report by the European Parliament on the situation of SRHR in the EU but are eager to see greater concrete steps taken to reverse the damage caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in both internal and external EU actions. A reversal of disbursement cuts by the EU and others will be critical to ensure that progress can continue to be made in the area of SRHR across the world.

ENDS

2021 Donors Delivering Report can be accessed here: www.donorsdelivering.report

Notes to the editor:

  • Donors Delivering for SRHR is an annual publication and accountability tool that analyses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) database of SRHR funding disbursements. The 2021 report analyses the latest data available, which is from 2019. Donors Delivering for SRHR was previously known as Euromapping and has been published since 2011.
  • The report analyses three key areas of SRHR: reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning, and sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) is a global development organisation that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. We achieve this by engaging in advocacy, capacity development, and reproductive health initiatives so that young people are empowered to lead healthy and self-determined lives. With our headquarters in Hannover, Germany, DSW operates two liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels, as well as maintaining a strong presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.
  • The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) is a network of members of parliament from across Europe who are committed to protecting the sexual and reproductive health of the world’s most vulnerable people, both at home and overseas. We believe that women should always have the right to decide upon the number of children they wish to have, and should never be denied the education or other means to achieve this that they are entitled to