Family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent maternal, infant, and child mortality. Yet today more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who wish to prevent, limit, or space pregnancies are not using a modern contraceptive method. In fact, in the world’s 69 poorest countries, the number of women with unmet need for contraception has increased in recent years, resulting in 80 million unintended pregnancies each year.
A family in Dioro, Mali
© Michelle Bashin, Courtesy of Photoshare
This Wednesday, July 11, family planning stakeholders from around the world will unite for the London Summit on Family Planning. The UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are partnering with UNFPA to host this gathering of leaders from national government, donors, civil society, the private sector, the research and development community, and others to renew and revitalize global commitment to ensuring the world’s women and girls, particularly those living in low-resource settings, have access to contraceptive information, services, and supplies.
Organizers hope the summit will “mobilize global policy, financing, commodity and service delivery commitments to support the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020.” Doing so will prevent a staggering 100 million unintended pregnancies, 50 million abortions, 200,000 pregnancy- and childbirth-related maternal deaths, and 3 million infant deaths.