*This post was updated at 12:39pm PST with a corrected figure.
The London Summit on Family Planning has lived up to its "groundbreaking" description.
The Summit has raised the resources to deliver contraceptives to an additional 120 million women and girls which is estimated to cost $4.3 billion.
More than 20 developing countries made commitments to address the policy, financing and delivery barriers to women accessing contraceptive information, services and supplies. Donors made new financial commitments to support these plans amounting to $2.6 billion.
The UK's Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell called it a "breakthrough for the world's poorest girls and women which will transform lives, now and for generations to come. The commitments made at the Summit today will support the rights of women to determine freely, and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they have.”
Melinda Gates said, “When I travel and talk to women around the world they tell me that access to contraceptives can often be the difference between life and death. Today is about listening to their voices, about meeting their aspirations, and giving them the power to create a better life for themselves and their families.”
I really do believe it's a day to celebrate this enormous accomplishment. Yes, these are pledges. Which means it will take all of us monitoring and keeping governments and donors on track to live up to these commitments. However, we've proven it can be done. This Summit was only an idea at one point. It was a vision based on a belief that developing country governments, foundations, the private sector, and civil society would come together to answer the women and girls who, as Melinda points out, desperately want and need family planning tools and information.
It's important, then, that we don't stop now. You can still pledge to ensure that all women and girls have the opportunity to determine their own future, at No-Controversy.com. You can share your own story about contraceptives there as well. And keep the conversation going - whether on Twitter (#FPSummit and #Nocontroversy), with your own communities (both on- and off-line), and stay up to date with our partners in this effort--from Marie Stopes, International; International Planned Parenthood Federation; UNFPA; Save the Children; the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and so many others. These are the groups doing the hard work, on the ground.
Spread the word, today, though: We're all a part of this amazing breakthrough in family planning access for women and girls in the poorest parts of the world. And we won't stop until those 120 million women and girls who want access to voluntary contraception are reached, by 2020.