Washington, D.C. – More women and girls in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries have access to family planning than ever before, according to new figures released by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).
FP2020: The Arc of Progress, the final report of the partnership, reveals that 320 million women and girls are now using modern contraception, an increase of 60 million additional users since 2012.
The report published today by FP2020, a global partnership that supports the reproductive rights of women and girls, details the progress achieved in family planning over the past eight years. In 13 low-income countries, the number of modern contraceptive users has doubled since 2012, and more than 121 million unintended pregnancies, 21 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths were prevented in the last year alone.
Providing access to family planning for every woman and girl is critical, no matter where she lives. The growing use of contraceptive methods has resulted in not only improvements in health-related outcomes such as reduced maternal mortality and infant mortality, but also improvements in schooling and economic outcomes for women and girls – who are crucial for social and economic progress.
Despite the threat of Covid-19, the family planning community has broken through barriers to transform the lives of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries through improved means and access to contraceptives. Progress that has only been possible as a result of the pioneering work of FP2020 partners around the world.
Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020, said: “The FP2020 partnership has bent the curve of progress sharply upward and responded with strength to Covid-19. As a result of coordinated partnership over the past eight years, millions of women and girls can now plan their own futures through access to life-changing, and lifesaving, contraceptives. This momentum must be accelerated as the family planning community plans for the future.”
She continued, “Since 2012, the family planning movement has gained huge momentum. Yet big challenges remain. With every day that passes, millions are denied the right to choose their own future. As we look ahead to 2030, we must continue to push for progress, build on what works well, and ensure we leave no woman or girl behind.”
In the world’s 69 lowest-income countries, the report shows greater access to family planning than ever before:
- As a result of contraceptive use by more than 320 million women and girls, more than 121 million unintended pregnancies, 21 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths were prevented in the last year alone.
- In 13 countries the number of modern contraceptive users has doubled since 2012: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
- In most FP2020 focus countries, modern contraceptive prevalence among all women (MCP) is rising. On average, MCP among all women of reproductive age has risen by more than 2 percentage points since 2012.
- Significant progress has been made in Africa, where, as of July 2020, the number of users of modern methods of contraception had grown by 66% since 2012, from 40 million to more than 66 million women and girls. In Eastern and Southern Africa, the number of modern contraceptive users has grown by 70% since 2012.
- In 2019, bilateral family planning funding from donor governments totaled US$1.5 billion, on par with 2018 disbursements of US$1.5 billion
Partners and countries around the world responded rapidly to Covid-19 and the threat it posed to decades of women’s progress
In the last year, the global family planning community faced its greatest challenge in the pandemic, but the response was swift and comprehensive.
FP2020 partners such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), developed a COVID-19 Global Response Plan to maintain continuity and protect the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health commodities, while several governments produced Covid-19 guidelines for reproductive health.
The coordinated effort of the partnership has safeguarded family planning as an essential health service. This response appears to have largely averted the worst-case scenario, however, more work is needed to mitigate this challenge.
Reaching more women and girls will be the driving force behind the new FP2030 partnership, which will inspire and galvanize the next decade of progress
While progress has been significant, millions more still want access to modern methods of contraception. As of July 2020, there were an estimated 942 million women of reproductive age in the 69 FP2020 focus countries, compared to 822 million in 2012: an increase of approximately 15 million women each year. Just keeping up with this population growth means that many more women and girls need contraceptive services each year.
We must continue to put women and girls at the center of family planning. The quest for a more peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world is inextricably linked with the rights of these individuals, and their ability to shape and make their own choices about family planning.
Notes to editors
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Family Planning 2020
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership and works with governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community to enable millions more women to use contraceptives no matter where they live. An outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, FP2020’s objective is to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights by 2030, as laid out in Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5. FP2020 is in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.
Core partners of FP2020 are The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) , UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and USAID. The FP2020 Secretariat, based at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC, implements the day-to-day activities of the partnership. One of the Secretariat’s main functions is to report on progress made by the FP2020 partnership.
Each year, FP2020 publishes an annual progress report. The progress is measured through FP2020’s core indicators which are based on a results framework designed to measure aspects of the enabling environment for family planning, the process of delivering services, the output of those services, expected outcomes, and the impact of contraceptive use. Together, this interrelated set of indicators provides a foundation for monitoring family planning progress across the 69 FP2020 focus countries.