• Blog post

    I was startled to see in a recent Lancet paper by Babatunde Osotimehin that fully meeting the family planning needs of people in developing countries—of current users and women with unmet need—would cost about US$8.1 billion annually. Currently, writes Osotimehin,“donors, developing countries, and households are investing some US$4 billion, which leaves a shortfall of about US$4.1 billion” each year.

    PAI: Family Planning: The Smartest Investment We Can Make


    Image redrawn from Population Action International, Family Planning: The Smartest Investment We Can Make

    Osotimehin, who is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNFPA, urges governments of developing countries to commit significantly more of their own regular budgets and other resources to provide contraceptive information and services. In addition, “Donor countries need to step up their contributions to family planning to fulfill their commitments made at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).”

    One piece of good news for the funding picture came out of the recent London Summit on Family Planning when international donors and foundations pledged an additional US$2.625 billion dollars to reach 120 million more women with an unmet need for family planning by 2020. Developing country partners, including those in India, Indonesia, Malawi, and Nigeria, pledged an additional US$2 billion. These pledges, according to the London Summit Press Release, mean that by 2020, some 200,000 fewer women will have died in pregnancy and childbirth, there will be 110 million fewer unintended pregnancies, over 50 million fewer abortions, and nearly three million more babies will survive their first year of life.

  • Blog post

    September 2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt.

    Shortly before the 1994 Cairo meeting, I remember riding down in a New York elevator following a pre-conference meeting with a bunch of family planning NGO communicators. We had just agreed on a mutual message that women should have the right to choose when and how many children to have. This might seem “ho hum” now, but at the time it was a sea change from the traditional global “over population” argument that appeared in most of our  press releases showing the global rise in population over the next 10, 20, 30 years.

    At Population Reports, we had just published a report on  The Environment and Population Growth: Decade for Action, and in preparation were reports on Winning the Food Race and Solutions for a Water-Short World.  Fortunately for me, we had also recently published in 1992 The Reproductive Revolution: New Survey Findings, in which we stated: “A reproductive revolution is spreading across much of the developing world. Use of effective contraception has risen rapidly, and fertility has been falling. But there is still a long way to go. More than one woman in every five wants to avoid pregnancy but is not using contraception.” This reference to “unmet need” gave me a good reason to be in that elevator discussing our mutual message for women’s rights, even though I had one foot in the demographic/environment camp.

  • Family Planning Helps Everyone Poster

    Family Planning Helps Everyone, a poster from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt