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Condom shortage – Impact on poor

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The West’s failure to pump all the money it promised into United Nations world population programs has resulted in a severe shortage of condoms for developing nations, Reuters reported Sept. 20.

The United Nations, the world’s biggest condom supplier, halved the number of condoms it distributed last year because of the lack of funds.

Industrial donor nations agreed in 1994 to give $5.7 billion to the U.N. Population Fund by 2000, the fund said, but gave less than half of that.

Yet developing nations, where most of the money is spent, have pledged $11.3 billion.

Condoms are key to the UN’s struggle to fight the spread of AIDS and control population growth in the world’s poorest countries.

“Condom demand is increasing rapidly all over the world but particularly in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Nafis Sadik, the fund’s director. “We are unable to supply them because of lack of resources.” The demand for condoms is expected to increase 40 percent over the next 15 years.

Sadik said the worst offenders are the U.S., Germany, France and Italy, while the Nordic nations and the Netherlands are strong supporters of the condom program.

“Some of the major donors are under performing as far as contributions are concerned,” Sadik said. “ Developing countries are actually pulling their weight better than donor countries.”

For full story, go to AOL.

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