UK to host family planning summit with Gates Foundation

06 MARCH 2012 | LONDON - The UK Government is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partners to host a Family Planning summit in London in July 2012.

The event will aim to generate unprecedented political commitment and resources from developing countries, donors, the private sector, civil society and other partners to meet the family planning needs of women in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.

There are 215 million women in developing countries who want to delay or avoid a pregnancy but are not using an effective method of family planning. Dfid says its priority this year is to support national governments’ efforts to increase access to family planning in the poorest countries. This is part of the UK’s contribution to the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health "Every Woman, Every Child."

Increasing access to family planning information, services and supplies has dramatic health benefits for women and children, preventing up to a quarter of maternal deaths. It is also an extremely cost effective investment towards the achievement of the maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals and wider development outcomes. And yet, says Dfid, global attention and leadership on this issue has been lacking.