HEALTH (JollofNews) – Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) released its second progress report detailing achievements since the landmark 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.

The report, Partnership in Progress, shows the initiative is making steady progress toward its goal of enabling an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, services and supplies by 2020.
The report includes the first set of quantitative results on several core indicators designed to track progress toward the FP2020 goal. Notably, in 2013 the number of women and girls using modern contraceptives in FP2020’s 69 focus countries increased by 8.4 million. Expanded access to family planning helped avert 77 million unintended pregnancies, compared to 75 million in 2012; 125,000 maternal deaths, compared to 120,000 in 2012; and 24 million unsafe abortions, compared to 23 million in 2012.
“The commitments made at the London Summit on Family Planning are delivering real progress and it is important that the whole international community works to build on this success. Access to adequate family planning is vital for enabling women to have choice over their reproductive plans and control over their health and livelihood,” said Justine Greening, MP, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Development.
In 2013, donor governments provided US$1.3 billion for family planning programmes, nearly 20% more than in 2012. The United States was the largest bilateral donor, providing US$585 million – almost half (45%) of total bilateral funding. The United Kingdom was the second largest bilateral donor, providing US$305.2 million – 23% of all funding.
Additionally, partner countries are making and delivering on strong commitments to expand contraceptive access. Five more developing countries – Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mauritania and Myanmar – made commitments to FP2020 in 2013, bringing the total number of states pledging to expand access to voluntary contraception to 29. More commitments are expected to be announced before the end of the year. One half of commitment-making countries now have formal, detailed plans to guide their national family planning strategies. HEALTH    
“Countries are stepping up their commitments to provide girls and women with the information and tools they need to plan their families and their futures,” said Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Co-Chair of FP2020’s Reference Group. “We must use the data and lessons learned from the past two years to focus our efforts on high-impact interventions that unlock a virtuous cycle of prosperity for families and entire communities.”
The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning added momentum to decades of efforts already underway to provide access to modern contraception and reaffirm the right of all women and girls to decide freely and for themselves whether, when, or how many children they have. Commitments made to FP2020 by developing country governments and the donor community are translating into real progress, highlighting the importance of mobilizing resources and further strengthening the focus on adolescents and girls. As the global community works to shape the post-2015 development agenda, the need to maintain and build upon FP2020’s first two years of achievements is crucial.
“Deciding about pregnancy should be by choice, not by chance,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Co-Chair of FP2020’s Reference Group. “We welcome the contribution of FP2020 to ensuring that more women and girls have the information and means to realize this basic human right. Family planning is one of the best investments that we can make to boost women’s empowerment, gender equality, sustainable development and creating the future we want.”
Moving forward, FP2020 is committed to accelerating global efforts to reach its ambitious goal of enabling an additional 120 million women and girls to access contraceptive information, services and supplies by 2020. Every effort is being expended to support more developing countries to create and implement national family planning strategies and to increase donor funding for this purpose. Continued commitment to expanding access to family planning can only result in further reductions to the unacceptably high and unnecessary loss of millions of women and girls’ lives from maternal related causes.  
A copy of Partnership in Progress can be downloaded from:
About FP2020
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they want to have. FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. FP2020 is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning where more than 20 governments made commitments to address the policy, financing, delivery and socio-cultural barriers to women accessing contraceptive information, services and supplies. Donors also pledged an additional US$2.6 billion in funding.  At the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, an additional five countries made commitments to FP2020.
Led by an 18-member Reference Group, guided technically by Working Groups, operated daily by a Task Team and hosted by the United Nations Foundation, FP2020 is based on the principle that all women, no matter where they live, should have access to lifesaving contraceptives. FP2020 is in support of the UN Secretary-General’s global effort for women and children’s health, Every Woman Every Child.