The Need for Funding
Access to family planning is irrefutably linked to economic development of countries, as well as the health of women and children, household poverty and educational outcomes of women and girls.
Between 1965 and 2005, use of family planning in developing regions rose from less than 10% of women of childbearing age, to just over 50%. As a result, the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime declined from six to just three1.
This was due in large part to donor funding and support for reproductive health following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. At that time, governments and other donors recognized that development goals — especially reducing poverty — would not be met without addressing the unmet need for family planning.
However, there has been a considerable slowdown in meeting the unmet need in the past decade, due to rising demand and falling support2.
- There are now more people of reproductive age — the current generation of 15-25 year olds are the largest ever generation of young people
- Increased demand — the use of reproductive health supplies is expected to increase 40% by 2015 due to population growth and the success of family planning programmes
- Increased transmission of HIV — 75% of all infections are through sexual transmission, making condoms essential for HIV prevention.
This poses a grave risk to human and economic development in many regions, and calls for immediate funding increases.