Memorandum submitted by Marie Stopes International
1. Marie Stopes International (MSI) is a
non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in 38 countries. The
organisation has more than two decades' experience in providing
reproductive health information and services through a network
of global partners. MSI welcomes this opportunity to raise key
issues relating to reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in the DFID
Departmental Report 2002.
2. MSI notes that the Public Service Agreement
(PSA) 1999-20002001-02 commitment for maternal mortality
has not been met. Despite this, maternal mortality is not mentioned
as an objective in the current PSA 2001-022003-04, although
it is the sixth stated target of the Millennium Development Goals.
Also, objective IV (c) "Improving access to reproductive
healthcare" in the current PSA has no specified target. Setting
appropriate targets is crucial for tracking progress as well as
to determine whether the target has been "met", is "on
track" or is "below target".
3. MSI is concerned at the continuing shortage
and projected shortfall of reproductive health supplies, including
condoms. Provision of these essential commodities is key to increasing
access and preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted
infections, including HIV/AIDS.
4. One of the issues in maintaining the
supply of reproductive health commodities is donor funding, which
peaked in 1996 at US$68 million and fell to US$40 million in 1999
and 2000. There is already a recognised "unmet need"
for contraception, which has been calculated at 350 million couples
who want to use family planning methods but don't currently have
access to them. At the same time, demand for these commodities
is rapidly increasing, due to a growing number of young people
entering the reproductive age bracket. Several MSI programmes,
particularly our African Partners constantly face commodities
shortage and are forced to turn away clients who are in urgent
need of condoms and contraceptive methods.
5. The United Nations Population Fund estimates
that the number of condoms required will approximately triple
to 18.6 billion in 2015, at a cost of US$557 million. This figure
does not include delivery and distribution costs, nor does it
include the commodities required for contraceptive use.
6. The NGO sector can play a vital role
in supplying commodities and providing post-service/sale care
through their existing networks of centres and outlets, accessed
by tens of thousands of individuals wishing to plan families and/or
practise safer sex.
7. MSI recommends the Select Committee to
seek from DFID:
1. Clarification from DFID about (a) its
resource allocation to the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria, particularly for the procurement of condoms for each
year from 2002-03, over a five-year period (b) the resources allocated
to reproductive health commodities, other than condoms in order
to achieve Target 5 (c).
2. (a) Acknowledgement of the current shortfall
in global reproductive health commodities, including condoms,
and a commitment from the UK Government to increase its allocation
to address this very specific and important problem (b) significant
increase in future health and population funding to meet the ever-widening
shortfall between provision and need.
3. Clarification of PSA targets vis-a"-vis
Millennium Development Goals (Targets 6, 7, 8 and Goals 5 and
6) and ensure that there is consistency of targets being pursued
and indicators being measured, in order to accurately monitor
progress against PSA and MDG targets.
4. Commitment to closely involve the NGO
sector in delivering services and supplying reproductive health
commodities in developing countries.
Marie Stopes International
1 Three-quarters reduction in maternal mortality by