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Global focus on women welcomed

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

International News

This week’s global focus on the benefits of family planning and an accompanying global commitment to make modern contraceptive technology available to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020 have been welcomed by our chief executive Jackie Edmond.

“We’re thrilled to see women on the global health agenda in this way,” Ms Edmond says. “This week’s commitments at the London Summit on Family Planning also puts the focus on girls and women – ensuring that more women have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves about the number, timing and spacing of their children.”

The London Summit on Family Planning was co-hosted by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and brought together governments, civil society and the private sector.

The Summit’s stated aim was to ensure that women in the world’s poorest countries have the same access to life-saving contraceptives as women in high-income countries.

The Summit has raised the resources to deliver contraceptives to an additional 120 million women which is estimated to cost $US4.3 billion. Donors made new financial commitments to support these plans amounting to $2.6 billion – exceeding the Summit’s financial goals.

Across the developing world, some 222 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern method of contraception and despite progress in some areas of the world, this situation has changed little in the past decade.

The results of providing women with universal access to voluntary family planning are not only cost-effective but also dramatic and wide-ranging. By 2020, the collective efforts announced at the conclusion of the Summit will result in 200,000 fewer women dying in pregnancy and childbirth, more than 110 million fewer unintended pregnancies, over 50 million fewer abortions, and nearly three million fewer babies dying in their first year of life.

Nearly 60 per cent of the 10 million people living in the Pacific are under the age of 25 and will require family planning services in the near future and will have the right to access these services.

“As at mid-2012, and based on the best available evidence from eight Pacific Island countries, more than 370,000 women across the region have an unmet need for family planning services,” Ms Edmond says.

“What this means is that across the region there are 370,000 women aged 15 to 49 who are married or in a relationship and who want to limit or space their pregnancies but say they are currently unable to do so. Close to 90% of this unmet need is in Papua New Guinea.

“In addition, the proportion of women using effective contraception is less than 35% in the Pacific, compared to a global average of 57% in less developed countries”.

For further information:
London Summit on Family Planning website
London Summit on Family Planning press release
London Summit on Family Planning commitments

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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