The UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the support of UNFPA and other partners, is to host the international Family Planning Summit in London on 11 July. The aim of the Summit is to launch a global movement to provide an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries access to lifesaving family planning information, services and supplies by 2020.
Increasing access will enable these women and girls to choose whether, when and how many children to have. Currently, over 200 million women and girls in developing countries who want to delay or avoid becoming pregnant do not have access to modern methods of contraception. For many of them, the inability to choose and access family planning will cost them their lives. Avoiding unintended pregnancies reduces the number of unsafe deliveries and unsafe abortions – two of the main causes of maternal deaths.
The Family Planning Summit will build on the momentum created by the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, “Every Woman, Every Child”, and the innovative public-private and civil society partnerships that are developing through the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) and their HandtoHand Campaign.
The Summit will commit the global community to giving access to family planning to 120 million more women in the poorest countries by 2020. The poorest countries are defined as those with a Gross National Income (GNI) of $2,500 per year or less (based on the World Bank 2010 classification using the Atlas Method) – a group of 69 countries.
As well as providing family planning for 120 million additional women in these 69 countries, the global community also needs to sustain coverage for the 260 million women currently using contraceptives – estimated as of 2012. By 2020, the aim is to serve a total of 380 million women with quality family planning to delay, space or limit their births. This is an ambitious and powerful goal.
The estimated resource requirement for sustaining the current use of contraception is $10bn over eight years from 2012 to 2020, made up of contributions from country governments, consumers and external donors. Reaching an additional 120 million women will require resources equivalent to an additional $4bn over the next eight years.