In the DRC, international donors play a major role in supporting family planning activities, given the limited capacity of government to adequately meet the needs of a burgeoning population in a geographically vast country. Key FP donors include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In recent years, other donors have included DfID (Great Britain), GTZ (German, not currently active in FP in the DRC), and the Canadian Development Agency (CIDA).
An interagency group called the Groupe International de Bailleurs en Santé (GIBS) coordinates the activities of different international groups along all aspects of health.
CIDA works to address UN Millennium Goals 4 and 5 to reduce maternal and child mortality and improve maternal health through its Children and Youth Strategy. In the DRC, CIDA contributes funding to the UNFPA, through the "Fight Against Sexual Violence" project (2006-2013) in support of universal access to reproductive health, family planning, and sexual health. This support is mainly directed to the victims of sexual violence, in the provinces of North and South Kivu. It recently completed its support to 3 health zones in Kinshasa, and will commence a new project in 2012 to provide the minimum package of services to 7 health zones in Kinshasa. CIDA also provides technical support to the DRC government on budgeting (i.e., Cadres des Dépenses à Moyen Terme, its midterm budget), as well as to the Kinshasa Central Agency for the Purchase and Distribution of Essential Medicine (CAMESKIN) in order to improve the supply of quality essential generic drugs for the entire territory of Kinshasa province. In collaboration with several UN agencies, CIDA is supporting two new initiatives “Santé pour Les Populations Les Plus Pauvres" (SPP, Health for the Poorest Population), in the provinces of Katanga, Kasaï Oriental, and Kasaï Occidental, and "Soutien Interagence au plan d'accélération de la réduction de la mortalité maternelle et néonatale" (Inter-angency support to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality) (H4+) in the provinces of Bas-Congo, Bandundu, and Kinshasa.
DfID, the Department for International Development, United Kingdom, works to prevent maternal and infant mortality, to enable women to use modern methods of family planning, to prevent unintended pregnancies, and to improve maternity services. In recent years, DfID has funded an integrated program of services, including family planning, in 20 health zones in the DRC located in the provinces of South Kivu, Oriental, Kasai, and Maniema. In 2012, it plans to increase this number to at least 30 health zones (including the existing 20), providing commodities and medical supplies, renovation of facilities, training, and managerial support to the “minimum package of activities.” In addition, DfID will fund a supplemental subcontract to provide technical assistance to further reinforce family planning within these zones. DfID’s programming is designed to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals in the DRC. It will track progress using couple-years of protection as its FP indicator.
The United Nations Population Fund is an international development
agency that works in partnership with governments, organizations,
and communities in developing countries to meet UN Millennium
Development Goals. UNFPA promotes the right to family planning
by supporting programs that improve access, availability, and
affordability of family planning services, increase contraception
method options, augment high standards of quality care, and
effectively educate women on proper contraceptive use. UNFPA has
worked in the DRC since 1972, though it greatly reduced its
support to the DRC during the politically turbulent period of 1996 to 2004.
As of 2012, UNFPA provides support to family planning activities in its eight focus provinces: Bandundu, Bas Congo, Kinshasa, Katanga, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, and Province Orientale. It provides financial or technical support to the PNSR, ABEF, Common Ground, and the Ministry of Women Gender, Family, and Children. Its work in family planning has focused most directly on the following areas:
Historically, USAID was the major funder of family planning in the DRC. For example, it supported the establishment of the national FP program (the Projet des Services des Naissances Desirables, PSND) in 1985, which ended in 1991 because of the civil unrest in the country. USAID provided some amounts of funding to PSI during the period of armed conflict (1994-2004). USAID resumed funding of FP activities in 2004, generally as part of integrated health programs in four focus provinces: Katanga, West Kasai, East Kasai, and South Kivu. It plays a major role in the procurement of contraceptives for the DRC, which are distributed through a number of its programs.As of 2012, it is funding FP work through the following projects:
In addition, USAID provides contraceptives only to the Jane Goodall Institute and to PEPFAR/CDC partners. Through the Fistula Care project, USAID also sponsors six reference hospitals that provide fistula repair services.
In April 2006, the Support Project for the Rehabilitation of the Health Sector, PARSS, was put into effect in the DRC with a grant from the International Development Association. Since then, the project has been implemented in five provinces: Bandundu, Ecuador, Katanga, Kinshasa, and Maniema, covering 83 health zones and a population of 10 million people. The closing date of the project is set for June 30, 2014. The project's main objective is to ensure that the population has access to and uses a defined set of essential health services. The project supports the health zones by providing financial incentives to health personnel for performance and training medical personnel, rehabilitation works, medicalization, and medical and nonmedical supplies and equipment for hospitals and health centers. The project also provides treatment to reduce costs for families and improve the performance and efficiency of medical personnel in health facilities. Reproductive health, child health, malaria, HIV / AIDS, and health system performance are the main themes of the project. Impact interventions involve services for maternal and newborn health including prenatal care, childbirth, neonatal care, postnatal consultations, family planning, and reproductive health. One of the project's objectives is to increase the use of modern contraceptives among women aged 15-49 years. The project achieves this goal by providing health facilities with essential health services with emphasis on reproductive health and family planning, HIV / AIDS, immunization, and nutrition activities.
The Groupe International de Bailleurs en Santé (GIBS) - the Group of International Donors in Health - is composed of the lead persons responsible for Health in the respective donor organizations. The group includes bi-lateral donors (the European Union, United States, Canada, and Japan), multi-lateral agencies (the World Bank, DUE), and UN agencies (UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA). Shortly, it may expand to include South Korea and Spain. GIBS has been in existence for approximately 10 years.
The purpose of GIBS is to support the government of DRC in implementing its national health policy, as defined by the SRSS (Strátegie de Renforcement du Système de Santé,Reinforcement Strategy of the Health System). Other key documents that guide its work include the SCSRP and the PSND 2011-15. To this end, GIBS provides a forum for dialogue between donors and the government of the DRC. Also, it exchanges information on programs and projects, in an effort to make donor support as efficient and effective as possible. GIBS supports the strategy of the government in terms of integrated health programming (over vertical interventions).
The presidency of GIBS rotates each year (and is renewable for one year). As of 2012, the U.S. (USAID) assumed this role. GIBS has six thematic sub-groups dealing with different issues, as well as ad hoc committees; it meets approximately once a month.
In 2012 GIBS will focus on the following four priority topics: