Contraception is a great anti-poverty invention: Family Planning Summit rolls out with $2.5 billion funding commitment
More than 60 governments and partners committed US$2.5 billion in funding by 2020 to expand access to family planning to millions of adolescents and women at the Family Planning Summit in London on Tuesday.
A major chunk of the funding – US$1.5 billion – has been committed by countries in Asia and Africa to accelerate family planning services and .
“Contraceptives one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known and one of the smartest investments countries can make,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which co-hosted the summit with the UK Government, UNFPA and the United Nations Population Fund.
India committed to increase modern contraceptive usage to meet 74% of the demand for modern contraceptives by 2020. Around 45 million women in the reproductive age of 15-49 years who need contraceptives do not have access to it.
Three new contraceptive methods have been added to those available free under the family planning programme and service delivery has been strengthened to revitalise social marketing. Family planning allocation in the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health budget is expected to exceed US$ 2 billion by 2020.
“For most of my life, I’ve used contraceptives…. My family, my career, and my life are the direct result of having access to contraceptives. Now, contraceptives are a personal issue, but they’re also a global one. They’re an essential part of the healthier, more prosperous world we’re all dreaming about,” said Melinda.
The London Summit reaffirms international political support for women and girls to be able to decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have and addresses barriers to access.
Contraceptives empower women and change lives for the better. “Families tend to be smaller. Women are freer to work outside the home, earn an income, and contribute to the economy. Mothers and fathers can devote more resources to their kids’ health and education—setting them up for a more productive future,” said Melinda. “At the individual level, they make lives better. In the aggregate, they transform economies and enable countries to become more self-sufficient.”
Since Family Planning Summit 2012, modern contraceptives being used by 300 million women across the 69 of the world’s poorest countries averted 82 million unintended pregnancies, 25 million unsafe abortions, and 124,000 maternal deaths.