The Federal Government has said it is 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ehanire, in March 2022, renewed the financial commitment on behalf of Nigeria with the backing of the Federal Executive Council.
Nigeria with UNFPA, the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health agency and others, committed to sharing the cost of contraceptives as of 2023.
In line with Nigeria’s family planning 2020 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 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.
The need to increase domestic financing, however, became paramount to ensure sustainable financing for family planning commodities and service provision, to reduce the severe donor dependency, especially in the face of dwindling foreign aid.
The minister did not disclose the donor partners that would bail out the country from this debt.
He blamed the $4 million debts on the 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 finalized the plans we will disclose the donor partners,” he said.
The minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic had 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 Organisation 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.