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USAID makes first ever FP2030 commitment, pledging US$15 million over five years
Pattaya City, Thailand (16 November 2022)–As the world faces a pivotal moment for family planning, new data released today shows that the use of modern contraception is soaring around the world, with an estimated 371 million women of reproductive age now using a modern method of family planning— 87 million more than just a decade ago. The data released today at the International Conference on Family Planning taking place in Pattaya City, Thailand was accompanied by the announcement of historic new FP2030 pledges from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), among others.
“USAID has been a pillar of this global family planning partnership since we were created ten years ago. In making this commitment today, USAID affirms the success that we have seen: that a diverse global partnership, deliberately working together, can accelerate the use of family planning everywhere,” said Dr Samukeliso Dube, executive director of FP2030.
Less than two years after the FP2030 global partnership was launched, 24 governments and 78 non-governmental actors—including civil society organizations, private sector providers and youth-led organizations—have now made a public financial, policy or programmatic pledge to advance rights-based family planning, vowing to expand access to voluntary, rights-based contraception.
The DRC also announced at the conference its commitment to provide every person of reproductive age in the DRC with access to affordable, quality family planning information and services, regardless of social class, geographical location or political or religious affiliation. The country also pledged to increase access to family planning information and services for all adolescents and young people, from 13.1% in 2018 to at least 18% in 2025.
“The commitments made since our transition from FP2020 to FP2030 demonstrate the strength and resilience of a movement that has withstood a host of global challenges, as more and more countries and organizations recognize that voluntary, rights-based family planning is integral to their development and a major driver of gender equality,” said Dr. Dube.
Nineteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have also finalized their commitments: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. These commitments share many common priorities, including improving service delivery for young people, increasing domestic financing, scaling up postpartum family planning and strengthening supply chains.
Despite the unprecedented strain COVID-19 placed on national health systems and global supply chains, and throughout restrictive lockdowns, record numbers of people around the world continued to seek out and use family planning products and services. According to FP2030’s 2022 Measurement Report, more women in low- and lower-middle income countries are using modern family planning methods than ever before: today, 1 in 3 women of reproductive age in low- and lower-middle income countries are now choosing to use modern contraception.
“While the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented, over the past 10 years health systems have been buffeted by a number of threats, including natural disasters, violent conflicts, epidemics of Ebola and Zika, political shifts and changing economic conditions,” said Jason Bremner, FP2030 senior director of Data and Measurement. “Yet the number of women seeking modern methods of contraception has continued to climb. This is a testament to women’s desire to control whether and when to have children, and how many children to have.”
Over the past decade, contraceptive prevalence has steadily increased in low- and lower-middle income countries, and in 14 countries the number of contraceptive users has actually doubled. The sharpest growth has been in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last year alone, women’s use of contraception in low- and lower-middle income countries has averted more than 141 million unintended pregnancies, 29 million unsafe abortions and almost 150,000 maternal deaths.
“The benefits of family planning are enormous, and have a multiplier effect,” added Dr. Dube. “Family planning is the key to reducing maternal deaths; it is the difference between finishing high school and entering into early marriage and parenthood; and it can unlock a woman’s economic survival and prosperity.”
However, meeting the growing demand for family planning will require continued efforts to understand the changing needs and preferences of women and their partners. Today, for example, implants are the most used method in 10 countries and the second most common method in another 14 countries. This represents a stark contrast with the method mix a decade ago, when implants were not as widely available.
Protecting hard-fought gains and stepping up progress
In many places, access to family planning services is under attack. The recent United States Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health imperils not only abortion access, but also the right to contraception, the right to make personal medical decisions and potentially the right of LGBTQ individuals to marry and have children.
“Repressive movements around the world are threatening to roll back women’s rights, depriving people of bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom,” said Dr. Dube. “Despite the overwhelming demand for family planning, the progress of the last few years should not be taken for granted.”
At the same time, donor government funding for family planning is not keeping up with the growing demand for modern contraception. Data released today shows that bilateral donor funding totaled approximately US$1.4 billion in 2021: essentially flat compared to 2020, but substantially lower than the peak achieved in 2019 (US$1.52 billion). Given current financial instability and inflationary trends around the world, there could be further funding cuts in the future.
“Failing to adequately fund family planning efforts would be a missed opportunity for millions of women,” said Dr. Dube. “We need not only to hold the line, but also to secure new funding to accommodate the surge in demand for family planning. To ensure that the world stays on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030—including the intersecting goals of gender equality, health and prosperity—investments in family planning must be safeguarded and strengthened.”
In 2021, FP2030 introduced a new decentralized, regional model, consisting of five regional hubs on four continents. This new structure promises to make FP2030 more inclusive—and therefore more effective—than ever before, and places family planning decisions where they should be: firmly in the hands of the nations and communities making these commitments and seeking their own solutions.
“As more and more young people enter their reproductive years, the demand for family planning services will continue to grow. This rising demand must be met by adequate funding and increased supply,” added Dr. Dube. “The hard-won gains of the last 10 years could slip away if we don’t act now.”
Notes to editors
- The data behind FP2030’s 2022 Measurement Report is available here: https://fp2030.org/knowledge-center/resources/
. The full analysis is expected to be published on December 15, 2022.
- Details of FP2030 commitments can be accessed here: https://fp2030.org/commitment-makers/
FP2030 is the only global partnership centered on family planning. This singular focus allows us to bring together the widest possible range of partners across disciplines and sectors, while situating family planning at the crossroads of the global health, development, and gender equality agendas.
FP2030 is the successor to FP2020, a global initiative that ran from 2012 to 2020. Over the course of those eight years, FP2020 emerged as the central platform for family planning, providing an unparalleled space for stakeholders to convene, align, share knowledge, broker resources, and advance the field. FP2030 builds on and expands that work. https://fp2030.org/commitment-makers/