To mark the World Population Day, over 60 governments, private companies and other stakeholders collectively committed at least $2.5 billion to fund various family planning initiatives for adolescents at the Family Planning Summit organised in London on Tuesday.
The joint announcement came in the wake of US President Donald Trump saying that his country would soon end funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the agency which supports welfare programmes in more than 150 countries across the world.
Organised by the UK Government, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Family Planning 2020 Secretariat, also saw India making a committment to push for modern contraceptive usage to meet 74 per cent of the demand for modern contraceptives in the country by 2020.
Contraceptives are “one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known”, philanthropist Melinda Gates was quoted as saying by the media on Tuesday, as she called for making family planning a global priority.
World leaders gathered at summit to build on progress made since the Family Planning Summit in 2012 and reaffirmed international political support for women and girls to be able to decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have.
They also addressed common barriers to progress through various policies and programmes to ensure the money invested in family planning reaches its target.
According to reports, the majority of the funding – $1.5 billion – has been committed by countries in Asia and Africa.
Among the FP2020’s 38 partner countries, which includes India along with Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Indonesia and Uganda, made renewed commitments to accelerate family planning progress, and four new countries will join the FP2020 partnership.
UNFPA, the world’s largest provider of contraceptives, will provide countries with the family planning commodities under a bridge funding mechanism.
A supply chain Visibility Analytics Network (VAN), a global platform to capture and use data from multiple sources will be used to provide enhanced visibility into contraceptive supply chains. By partnering with private sector logistics experts and using smart-phone technology, the network will improve countries’ ability to know what contraceptives are in stock, where and how much – and to respond to stock-outs more efficiently.