Gates Foundation Awards $34.7 Million for Family Planning Advocacy

Gates Foundation Awards $34.7 Million for Family Planning Advocacy

Johns Hopkins University has announced a $34.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of the Advance Family Planning (AFP) initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Coordinated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and comprising nearly twenty local and international nongovernmental organizations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, AFP works to boost funding, improve the policy environment, and raise awareness of the importance of family planning in a development context. Since the 2012 launch of Family Planning 2020 — a global public-private partnership aimed at providing an additional 120 million women and girls with access to effective contraception by 2020 — the initiative's advocacy efforts have prompted governments and corporations to budget $44 million for family planning and enabled two hundred and sixty policy changes aimed at expanding contraceptive access and choice.

The latest grant from the Gates Foundation, which boosts total donor support of the initiative to nearly $100 million since 2009, will supplement advocacy efforts through 2022 in eight countries — Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda — as well as the francophone West African region. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 214 million women, mostly from the world's poorest countries, want to avoid pregnancy but do not have access to an effective contraceptive method.

"AFP is committed to strengthening advocacy effectiveness — locally and nationally — to ensure greater local ownership of family planning programs," said Gates Institute director Jose "Oying" Rimon II. "This ownership is essential to sustainability and to meet FP2020 and broader health and development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and to improve the prospects of individuals, families, and communities."

(Photo credit: Johns Hopkins University/Advance Family Planning)