The United Nations Population Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to help increase access to family planning information, contraceptives, and services in developing countries.
The partnership will work to advance the goal of Family Planning 2020 — a global initiative of governments, nonprofit organizations, donors, and researchers working to provide access to high-quality voluntary family planning supplies and services for an additional 120 million women and girls in the sixty-nine poorest countries by 2020. Aiming to expand access to new and underused methods, including long-acting reversible contraceptives such as injectables and implants, the initiative will support efforts to encourage young women and adolescent girls to delay childbirth and embrace birth spacing, which will increase their chances of staying in school; improve maternal, newborn, and child health; and increase women's social, economic, and political opportunities.
"UNFPA and the Gates Foundation are working together to advance the goals and principles of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning to enable women and adolescent girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether and when to have children and how many they want to have," said UNFPA executive director Babatunde Osotimehin.
"This groundbreaking partnership is anchored in a belief that all women and girls should have the opportunity to plan their families and reach their full potential," said Chris Elias, president of the global development program at the Gates Foundation. "Our unique collaboration with UNFPA will help to advance FP2020 and improve maternal and newborn health."