London Summit on Family Planning

  • Blog post

    On July 11, 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. Government—along with UNFPA and other partners—convened the high-profile London Summit on Family Planning. The overall goal of the summit, held on World Population Day, was to raise $4 billion to ensure that contraceptive information, services, and supplies are available to an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries by the year 2020.

    London Summit Themes

    Key themes that emerged during the London Summit on Family Planning.

    The meeting’s attendees included high-level government officials, donor organizations, health and development NGOs, faith-based organizations, and private institutions, among others. It brought together the worlds of policy, finance, commodity, and service delivery to discuss ways to make family planning a global priority – by revitalizing commitments to family planning, increasing access to contraceptive supplies, and removing barriers that prevent women from accessing these vital services.

    Reflecting the diversity of the attendees, speakers at the summit included representatives from governments, donor organizations, and private industry. A highlight of the summit was Melinda Gates’s speech during the afternoon plenary session. She began by announcing that the Gates Foundation will commit an additional $560 million dollars to family planning efforts between now and 2020 (twice what they are currently spending on family planning). Ms. Gates talked about the importance of world leaders committing to innovation on behalf of women. She encouraged leaders to think about family planning from the perspective of women, and that this would lead to real innovation.

  • Blog post

    Today in USAID's ImpactBlog, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes from the London Summit on Family Planning. Dr. Shah's post discusses the the relationship between family planning, ending preventable child death, decreasing maternal death, and stabilizing a society's prosperity:

  • Blog post

    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.

    London Summit Commitments


    New Financial Commitments by Donors and Private Sector at the London Summit on Family Planning

    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.

  • Blog post

    Melinda Gates, a strong advocate and champion for family planning, shares her perspectives leading up to the London Summit on Family Planning in this brief blog post and video posted on the United Nations Foundation's blog, Global Connections. This video, in a fun cartoon style, explains the benefits of family planning, like how $1 spent on family planning could save $6 spent on other forms of aid such as housing, healthcare, and public services. 

    Reposted from Global Connections, The United Nations Foundation Blog:


    As we get closer to the London Summit on Family Planning, people often ask me, “Why is family planning so important to you?” The simple answer is that it can mean everything to so many of the women and families I meet. It means the difference between being empowered and feeling powerless. It means the difference between celebrating a daughter’s graduation and watching her drop out of school. It even means the difference between life and death.


  • Blog post

    On July 11, 2012 from 9am to 12pm EST, the Universal Access Project will be hosting a tweetchat about the London Summit on Family Planning.

    The hashtag for this tweetchat is: #FPChat. To follow other summit related tweets use the hashtag: #FPSummit.

    The schedule for the chat is:

    • 8:45 EST (13:45 BST): Introduction by the UN Foundation's Universal Access Project
    • 9:00 EST (14:00 BST): The Gates Foundation and DFID will discuss the keynote speeches and action from Summit
    • 9:30 EST (14:30 BST): An MSI Outreach Worker from Kampala, Uganda will share experiences about delivering services on the ground
    • 10:00 EST (15:00 BST): Nike's Girl Effect Project will talk about the importance of empowering adolescent girls 
    • 10:30 EST (15:30 BST): USAID will discuss the U.S. Government's role in international reproductive health and family planning
    • 11:00 EST (16:00 BST): The White Ribbon Alliance will talk about the implementation of commitments
    • 11:30 EST (16:30 BST): The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child health and Every Woman Every Child will share insights on private-sector commitments 
    • 12:00 EST (16:30 BST): Wrap up by  the UN Foundation's Universal Access Project

  • Blog post

    I had the pleasure of attending a brown bag on July 5, entitled Revitalizing Global Family Planning: The Road to the London Summit by Dr. Oying Rimon, Senior Program Officer, Advocacy and Global Health Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As you all hopefully know, the Gates Foundation and the UK government are planning The London Summit on Family Planning on July 11, with UNFPA and other partners.

  • Blog post

    This morning on the Marketplace Morning Report, interviewer Jeremy Hobson spoke with Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about the controversy around contraception and the upcoming London Summit on Family Planning. Gates’s first statement pointed out that there are a staggering 200 million women who would like to have access to contraceptives but don’t. She added that these contraceptives have the ability to be “life-transforming” for these women. One main problem is the continued cuts to family planning budgets worldwide. Though contraceptives have been shown to be an important tool to improving health and development, they have been deemed a controversy and continued to have their funding cut. Hobson brought up the recent turmoil around contraceptives in the U.S., and Gates responded with an astonishing statistic, “99 percent of women -- say they use, in the U.S., contraceptives” and she added that women all over the world don’t have the same access as we do here.

  • UNFPA Add It Up Video

    UNFPA's video, "Add It Up"

  • Blog post

    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

    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.

  • Blog post

    In a rural community in Eastern Kenya, along the rough terrain of Mt. Kenya, a cadre of Christian community health workers (CHWs) is providing family planning for the first time. These CHWs are affiliated with the church-based hospitals in that region which are part of the Christian Health Association of Kenya. With support from the World Bank, these CHWs have been able to add provision of family planning information and methods (pills, condoms, CycleBeads®, Lactational Amenorrhea Method) to their package of services.

    CHW Pill Demo Global Handbook

    A Community Health Worker (CHW) gives instructions on how to use oral contraceptives.

    While many believe that religious teachings act as barriers to accessing family planning, the issues on the ground are much more often related to lack of resources or training capacity and the ever-present concern of commodity stockouts.  These church-based hospitals leading the effort to bring family planning to the community level fully recognize the integral role that family planning plays in improving maternal and child health as well as relieving the economic burden many families experience when they are unable to plan their families.