UN Population Fund reached dozens of millions globally in 2021

UN Population Fund reached dozens of millions globally in 2021

In 2021, despite certain challenges, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reached millions all around the world to provide sexual and reproductive health services. According to the agency’s annual report, last year millions of cases of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal deaths were averted thanks to the UNFPA’s global reach. According to the report, in 2021, the list of top donors to UNFPA was led by Sweden, while the biggest share of the budget UNFPA was spent in East and Southern Africa.

UNFPA recently published its 2021 annual report under the title “Delivering on the transformative results” in which the agency states that, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, UNFPA continued to respond to the needs of women and girls all around the world. Last year, in response to the growing cases of gender-based violence, interruptions to family planning supply chains and services, and overloaded health systems due to the coronavirus pandemic, the agency delivered sexual and reproductive health services to over 29 million women as well as supporting 1.5 million women from humanitarian crisis-affected countries during their deliveries and reaching millions around the world to offer support against gender-based violence.

In her statement to the Annual Session of the Executive Board 2022, Executive Director of UNFPA Natalia Kanem talked about the outcomes achieved by the agency through the 2018 to 2021 Strategic Plan and mentioned that UNFPA had prevented more than 71 million unintended pregnancies, averted about 200,000 cases of maternal deaths and 22 million unsafe abortions. Another 570,000 girls around the world had been protected from female genital mutilation thanks to the activities put in place by the agency.

“Now, it is our intention to build upon those results. We are sharpening our normative work. As part of leaving no one behind, for example, UNFPA launched our first-ever disability inclusion strategy; we developed notable programming in support of people of African descent and indigenous peoples, and we are committed to upholding the rights of LGBTQI-plus people and marginalized groups,” Natalia Kanem said.

In 2021, UNFPA delivered sexual and reproductive health information and services to 29 million women in 42 countries, as well as provided access to 12,000 safe spaces to support individuals suffering from gender-based violence in 38 countries. In 2021 alone, thanks to the global effect of contraceptives provided by UNFPA, 12.7 million cases of unintended pregnancies, 5 million cases of unsafe abortions, 82,000 new cases of HIV infections, and 39,000 cases of maternal deaths were prevented globally. The agency delivered life-skills programs to 4.9 million marginalized girls and reached 2.3 million survivors of gender-based violence.

According to Natalia Kanem, however, none of these achievements would have been possible without the support the agency received from its donors:

“These results were made possible through the generous support, contributions and partnership of our donors, who provided a record-setting US$350 million for UNFPA humanitarian interventions.”

The agency’s report states that as of 1st April 2022, UNFPA’s list of core contributors is led by Sweden with funding of US$64,105,586 followed by Norway with US$54,271,357 and Germany with US$47,769,765 in financial support. The top three donors are followed by countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, the United States of America, Switzerland, Japan, and Canada.

Fig.1. Top 20 donors to UNFPA

Source: UNFPA Annual Report 2021

According to the annual report, the biggest share of the UNFPA budget, 19%, was received by East and Southern Africa. This funding was equal to US$241.5 million. East and Southern Africa were followed by the Arab States with a 17.1% share amounting to US$217.6 million. West and Central Africa received only 16.2% of the budget with US$206.3 million of support.

Fig.2. Expenses by region

Source: UNFPA Annual Report 2021