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Global funding to provide contraception in developing countries


Kathy Audin
WVoN co-editor

A global initiative of $4.3 billion dollars was announced at the London Family Planning Summit to provide contraceptive access to over 120 million women in developing countries by 2020.

The summit coincided with the United Nation World Population Day and attracted health ministers from 25 developing nations, charity organisations  and  private corporations.  The range of attendees included Prime Minister David Cameron,  Save the Children and Pfizer Pharmaceutical who rallied together in support of reproductive rights which impact sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The fundraising target of $4 billion was surpassed yesterday with major pledges from the British Government of $ 1.6 billion, the U.S. government’s Agency for International Development of $640 million and the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation donation of $560 million.

The donations were supported by The Lancet which reports maternal mortality can be reduced by 30% if women had access to contraceptive supplies and information on family planning.

According to a UN Population study, about 220 million women in the developing world face unwanted pregnancies and do not have access to contraception.

As a result, an estimated 67,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions in in the developing world.  The daily dose of reality is that 800 women die  from  pregnancy-related complications which is the leading cause of death of teenage girls.

Melinda Gates, a Catholic and vocal advocate, has faced adversity with the relentless  association of contraception and abortion.  She clarifies, “ We’re not talking about abortion. We’re not talking about population control. What I’m talking about is giving women the power to save their lives.”


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