In Ethiopia, a country I recently visited, each woman on average bears 4.5 children. While this is the norm throughout the country many husbands and wives are proactively opting to use family planning methods for the betterment and well being of their family.
During the July 11, 2012 Family Planning Summit held in London convened by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a plethora of developing country and NGO commitments as well as foundation and private sector commitments were put forth in order to help provide much-needed contraceptives to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries. After the success of the summit the next logical step was to make sure those commitments would be honored. To that end, the Family Planning 2020 Reference Group was announced last month. The Reference Group’s national headquarters will be in Washington, DC at the United Nations Foundation.
The partnership, led by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and Dr. Chris Elias, president of Global Development at the Gates Foundation, will provide strategic direction for all partners and ensure that the $2.6 billion in financial commitments are fulfilled and implemented in order to provide voluntary contraceptives to women in developing countries.
“Family Planning 2020 is committed to the integration of family planning within the continuum of care for women and girls,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, FP2020 Co-Chair. “Women should be empowered to decide whether and when they want to become pregnant, as well as how many children they want to have. This is at the core of our mandate and work at country level.”
Additional members of the Reference Group include:
Dr. Flavia Bustreo, World Health Organization
Press Release Family Planning 2020Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation
Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of Health, Senegal
Nick Dyer, UK Department for International Development
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia
Dr. Tore Godal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Anuradha Gupta, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
Dr. Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Jane Wambui Kiragu, Satima Consultants, Ltd., Kenya
Tewodros Melesse, International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF)
Poonam Muttreja, Population Foundation of India
Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria
Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, US Agency for International Development
Dr. Carole Presern, Partnership for Maternal and Newborn Child Health (PMNCH)
John Skibiak, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition
Dr. Julianto Witjaksono, National Population Family Planning Agency, Indon
The full list of commitments can be found at the London Summit on Family Planning Summary of Commitments. The list is updated often. You can also follow the Reference Group at londonfamilyplanningsummit.co.uk/fp2020.php and on Twitter at @FP2020Global.