On 11 July the UK is co-hosting an international summit on family planning in London with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The summit aims to boost global commitment to one of the smartest investments governments can make: ensuring women and girls have access to family planning services.
Why do we need a summit?
Expanding access to contraception and family planning programmes is one of the most cost-effective ways to break the cycle of poverty. It empowers people to plan their futures and reach their fullest potential.
Huge progress has already been made, but there are still 214 million women around the world who do not want to get pregnant and are not currently using modern methods of family planning.
Voluntary family planning enables women and girls to complete their education and take up better economic opportunities: it transforms lives, creating more prosperous, stable societies, which is in the UK’s interest.
That is why International Development Secretary Priti Patel is stepping up the UK’s global leadership through an international summit on family planning in London this summer.
What will the summit achieve?
Together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UK will bring together governments, the United Nations, foundations, the private sector, civil society and youth advocates from around the world. Outcomes from the summit will include a range of new commitments from developing countries, donors and other partners. These commitments will increase access to family planning services for women and girls in the world’s poorest countries, fix problems with supply chains and prioritise the needs of women and girls in humanitarian crises.
What has been achieved globally on family planning already?
The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning kick-started an international movement (FP2020) to increase investments in voluntary family planning. Since then, the FP2020 movement has driven considerable progress: by 2016, an unprecedented 300 million women in the world’s poorest countries were using voluntary modern contraception.
UK investments alone have resulted in nearly 7 million more women using safe, modern contraception.
Clear progress has been made, but more needs to be done if we are to reach our global ambition of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls by 2020.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:
I am proud of the UK’s global leadership on family planning, sexual and reproductive health. We can see the progress that is being made around the world – but much more needs to be done.
That’s why the Family Planning Summit will be so important. It is a vital and exciting opportunity for the key players to get together and speed up progress to help 120 million more women and girls take control of their own lives through voluntary, modern family planning by 2020.