Gates Foundation Awards $37.5 Million for Access to Contraceptives

DKT International, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes family planning through social marketing, has announced a $25 million grant and a $12.5 million low-interest loan from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Covering the years 2016 to 2020, the funds will enable the organization to expand its geographic reach to twenty new countries, including eleven that are designated as critical to the Family Planning 2020 initiative, a public-private effort launched in 2012 with the goal of increasing, by 2020, the number of women in developing countries using modern contraception by a hundred and twenty million. To receive funding for the years 2018-20, the organization must meet certain goals.

To that end, DKT will use the funds to increase the distribution and sale of affordable modern contraceptives through retailer detailing, commodities procurement, and improved pipeline management. With a focus on engaging adolescents and youth with age-appropriate programming, the organization also will launch advertising, outreach, and education campaigns designed to create demand in western Africa and Latin America and will scale its existing social franchising operations with the aim of increasing the number of healthcare workers providing reproductive health services in underserved communities.

"DKT is proud to contribute to the FP2020 mission of providing a hundred and twenty million women and girls with access to modern contraception," said DKT International CEO Christopher Purdy. "We are grateful for the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in increasing access to high quality, affordable contraceptives through social marketing and for the opportunity to pilot this innovative financing mechanism."