Wanted: new condom suppliers for USAID (foreign companies need not apply)

Family Plan World. 1992 Nov-Dec;2(6):3.


PIP: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) could have expanded its family planning service budget by 10% had it purchased condoms from foreign manufacturers. In 1991, USAID purchased more than 633 million condoms at 5.3 cents/condom, or $7.63/gross. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), however, buy condoms from Korean manufacturers at an approximate cost of 1.7 cents/condom, or $2.50/gross. Had USAID followed suit, more than $22 million would have been saved to be better spent on expanding family planning and AIDS prevention programs in developing countries. The Australian company Ansell supplies 90% of USAID's condoms from its Alabama offices. Alabama Senator Howell Heflin and Ansell representatives have effectively lobbied to make sure that USAID adheres to a policy of buying only American-made products. While the Federal Procurement Act strongly encourages USAID to favor American products, federal law does not bar purchases of products manufactured overseas. USAID also pays considerably more for IUDs than other international agencies. UNFPA and IPPF agree with critics who say that USAID has a responsibility to purchase condoms from less expensive overseas suppliers. In so doing, USAID would maximize the use of American tax dollars while expanding the agency's mission in developing countries. The perceived need to protect a few dozen jobs in Alabama pales next to the potential of sparing hundreds of thousands of lives in Africa.

MeSH terms

  • Alabama
  • Americas
  • Condoms*
  • Contraception
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries*
  • Economics
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Financial Management*
  • Government Agencies*
  • Health Planning*
  • Industry*
  • International Cooperation*
  • North America
  • Organizations
  • Politics*
  • Private Sector*
  • Public Opinion*
  • United States