Activities and instruments

Promoting health and family planning

A midwife examines an expectant mother in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Each year millions of women in developing countries have an unwanted pregnancy because they have had no sex education or do not have access to modern contraceptives. Every day more than 800 women die because of an unwanted pregnancy or from complications related to pregnancy or birth – 99 per cent of them in developing countries.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the international community set itself the goal of ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including for family planning, information and education (Sustainable Development Goals 3.7 and 5.6).

Germany has signed international agreements in which it has undertaken to help women assert their right to sexual self-determination. Germany is committed to a wide spectrum of measures relating to this issue, including sex education and HIV prevention, family planning and care during pregnancy and birth, the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, the prevention of gender-specific violence and measures to combat female genital mutilation.

Funding significantly increased

Contraception advice in a health centre in Bujumbura, Burundi

Since the UN Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, Germany has made a total of more than one billion euros available for the improvement of sexual and reproductive health in developing countries. At the 2010 G8 Summit in Muskoka, Germany pledged additional funding to improve maternal and child health.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has launched the Self-determined Family Planning Initiative, among other things. From 2011 annual funding to support self-determined family planning and reproductive health has been doubled to around 90 million euros. In 2015, the initiative was extended to at least 2019 and annual funding was increased by another 10 million euros, bringing it to a total of 100 million euros. The BMZ is thus continuing Germany’s ongoing commitment to meet the goals set at the World Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.

The BMZ has also stepped up its funding to promote education on family planning. The programmes supported by Germany are directed not only at women but also at men, with the aim of getting them to take greater responsibility.

The BMZ also supports numerous bilateral and multilateral initiatives. It has been supporting the work of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since 2006 and has made a total of 164 million euros available to the Alliance up to and including 2015. Germany hosted the replenishment conference held in January 2015 and has significantly increased its contribution to Gavi: a total of 600 million euros is to be made available in the period up to 2020. The BMZ also supports the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), among other organisations.


Lack of gender equality and sexual self-determination mean women often do not know enough about HIV transmission. That is why they are not in a position to engage in and demand safe sex.

Germany supports numerous projects that aim to prevent and combat HIV/AIDS – for example by contributing to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Germany also supports measures to establish health services and health insurance systems.

Detailed information about German activities in regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights can be found here.

BMZ glossary

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