Success for Family Planning: London Summit Achieves Goals and Hope for the Future
As the seven keynote speakers from the London Summit on Family Planning disperse, there is a feeling of hope worldwide. Today, World Population Day, marked a great accomplishment for the women all over the world. An additional $4.6 billion was committed today for family planning, hoping to give 120 million more women and girls access to family planning information, services, and supplies. In the days leading up to the London Summit on Family Planning, Melinda Gates spoke about the goal for the summit to garner support for family planning from not only donor nations, but developing as well. With astonishing support from civil society, private sector, donor nations and developing nations, the goal of $2 billion from developing countries and $2.6 billion from donor nations was achieved - $3 million more than the intended goal.
Keeping up with the live streaming video, the constant twitter feed (#FPSummit) and simultaneous tweetchat (#FPChat) was challenging. But the one thing that was constant through all the forms of media was the positivity. It was all over the posts to Facebook, Twitter feeds, and throughout the summit. The amazing positivity and enthusiasm that was expressed to improve the lives of women worldwide was moving. Improving the lives of those in developing nations will have a positive effect on all of our economies, health, and well-being.
The Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, spoke about the need for aid transparency, a sentiment echoed by many of the other speakers. In order to uplift and empower the developing nations, we must let them make the change. Donor nations must help enable environments to support the change and increase in family planning.
Here are some great quotes from the day:
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 222 million women have an unmet need for contraceptives in the developing world; the $4.6 billion dedicated at the Summit will cut that figure in half by 2020. There were so many moving speeches and declarations made, I look forward to the change to come. To keep up to date on these commitments, visit the London Summit on Family Planning, the UK Department for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation websites.