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Madagascar President champions family planning as a lever for development

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 28 September 2021—The President of the Republic of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, was appointed as champion of family planning in Madagascar, and signed Madagascar's commitments and their official integration into the Family Planning 2030 initiative.

This took place at a roundtable for Madagascar's high-level commitment to family planning in order to achieve the FP2030 goals, under the theme "Family Planning, a lever for development". The event was organized under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Andry Rajoelina, supported by the Ministry of Public Health in partnership with development partners, including UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, and the National Committee for Family Planning.

In its National Development Plan (Plan d’Emergence Madagascar), the Government of Madagascar recognizes health as an inalienable right for every citizen and seeks to ensure quality health services for all through the implementation of universal health coverage and the strengthening of family planning, which saves the lives of women, newborns and adolescents, and contributes to the socio-economic development of the nation.

In view of the challenges facing the country, President Rajoelina has been identified as a torchbearer and is to join efforts to mobilize external resources for family planning. Priority interventions responding to Madagascar’s commitments to FP2030 were presented by the President, including:

- Availability of health centres and contraceptives free of charge
- Achieving a contraceptive prevalence rate of 60 per cent by 2023
- Achieving an unmet need for family planning rate of 8 per cent by 2023
- Achieving a total fertility rate of three children per woman.

President Rajoelina strongly endorsed family planning for the well-being of the nation and requested that speakers at weddings put an end to the expressed desire for newly married couples to have large families. “If we can control the birth rate, the country will develop,” he said.          

The roundtable discussions highlighted the cost of investments to eliminate maternal deaths and unmet need for family planning, the return on investment in family planning and its impact for achieving the demographic dividend, as well as disincentives and negative influences around family planning.

Effective implementation of these objectives requires high-level commitment, support from national and international partners, and multisectoral coordination.

The roundtable was joined by high-level government officials, parliamentarians, the expanded family planning committee, including civil society organizations, the private sector, members of the diplomatic corps including the Ambassador of Great Britain, the Minister Counsellor of Norway, the Representative of UNFPA in Madagascar, the Director General of USAID Madagascar, the Country Director of the World Bank, and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System, who reinforced their commitment to family planning.

Notes to editors

As the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA helps people obtain contraception and life-saving reproductive health services and information and empowers women and girls to make informed decisions about their bodies and lives.

For more information about UNFPA in Madagascar, please visit: madagascar.unfpa.org

For interviews or more information, please contact:
- Daisy Leoncio leoncio@unfpa.org +1 347 4919154 (South Africa)
- Hanta Andremanisa andremanisa@unfpa.org + 261 (0)32 07 845 12 (Madagascar)