UK announces life-saving support for women and girls in Tanzania

  • UK announces a £27 million package to improve family planning care and save the lives of mothers and newborns. 
  • Additional £5.5 million of support will boost access to green energy and will help businesses unlock new investments.
  • Funding marks the beginning of Minister Andrew Mitchell’s 4-day visit to East Africa, where he will also travel to Rwanda to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the genocide.

The UK Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, has today [4th April] announced a vital package of support for communities in Tanzania, which aims to protect mothers and babies, tackle diseases, and boost access to green energy. 

A £15 million five-year initiative will help to improve Tanzania’s health system and save lives, particularly of mothers and babies. Funding will provide a necessary boost to Tanzania’s health system, with the UK working alongside the government to reduce preventable deaths, combat disease outbreaks, and increase the quality of and access to primary healthcare services. This will help strengthen Tanzania’s capacity to detect, prevent and respond to health threats.   

Family planning services will also receive additional support, as the UK commits a further £12 million to extend its Scaling Up Family Planning Programme for two years, delivering vital family planning services to an additional 900,000 people. The programme currently supports 4 million people, and will help prevent 1,400 maternal deaths, 1 million unintended pregnancies, and over 200,000 unsafe abortions in Tanzania.  

Tanzania continues to face significant levels of poverty, exacerbated by high population growth. Investment in women and girls’ health and rights is a priority for both the UK and Tanzanian Governments.

Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell said:

Every woman has the right to choose whether she has children, and to a safe pregnancy and childbirth.

Threats from multiple diseases and high population growth in Tanzania are putting immense strain on its healthcare system, which means many women cannot get the family planning services they want and need, making them vulnerable to unsafe abortions – and putting their heath and lives at risk. 

UK funding announced today will help reduce maternal deaths in Tanzania, creating a safer environment for women and their children.

The impacts of climate change continue to be felt in many parts of Tanzania, heightened by the effects of El Niño.  In recent months heavy rains have triggered floods and landslides, displaced thousands of people, and disrupted social services, livelihoods, and infrastructure. 

An additional £5.5 million of new programming aims to provide vulnerable communities with greater access to clean energy and improved urban resilience. The new programming seeks to slow down deforestation, reduce emissions and air pollution, and build urban resilience through improving waste management and climate information services. 

During his visit, the Minister will see first-hand how UK aid is assisting with family planning services, meeting with beneficiaries of UK funded health programmes.  Andrew Mitchell will also visit a site specialising in ending violence against women and girls, meeting the anti-Human Trafficking & Child Protection Taskforce, and open a new UK diplomatic office in Dodoma. He will meet with government officials while in country to discuss how the UK can support sustainable and inclusive growth, focusing on opportunities to increase cooperation in economic development.  

The Minister will also commit to a Mutual Prosperity Partnership with Tanzania. This commitment aims to unlock £1 billion of UK Government-backed investment in Tanzania from 2024 to 2030. The partnership also aims to open up £300 million in UK private sector Foreign Direct Investment flows and increase UK-Tanzania trade by £100 million.

Following on from his visit to Tanzania, the Minister will travel to Rwanda, where he will be attending the commemoration for the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi.

He will also visit the Nyakabingo Tungsten Mine, to demonstrate UK government interest in the critical minerals sector in Rwanda, and will meet with Rwandan artists and creatives to discuss how the creative sector has had an impact on Rwanda’s post-conflict recovery.

Notes to editors  

Funding announced today covers:  

  • £15 million for Tanzania Health Resilience Programme over five years 
  • £12m into a two-year extension of the Scaling Up Family Programme (SUFP) in Tanzania to support cooperation on sexual and reproductive health and rights. This will support over 900,000 people.  
  • £5.5 million to support climate change and environmental projects in Tanzania. The funding will run until 2026 and will promote clean cooking technologies, clean energy access, and urban resilience. 

Half of Tanzania’s population is under 15 and the number of women of reproductive age increases by around 4% every year. The demand for quality sexual and reproductive health services, that protect the rights of women and girls is high and will increase in coming years given Tanzania’s fertility rate is around 5 births per woman.

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