Millions of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries have no access to affordable contraception or reliable information about family planning.
Because of this, hundreds of thousands of mothers and babies die each year. These needless deaths can be prevented.
On 11 July, the Family Planning Summit in London bought together world leaders, charities and private sector companies with one aim – to make affordable contraception, information and services available to an additional 120 million women and girls by 2020.
World leaders at the Summit pledged $2.6 billion in support for women and families in some of the world's poorest countries.
UK prime minister, David Cameron, announced £500m in aid over eight years. He said “women should be able to decide freely, and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they have.”
The summit was a unique partnership between the UK Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Joe Cerrell, Director, European Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “Tragically, progress has stalled on the issue of family planning for far too long. Improving access to contraception is one of the best ways to reverse this situation. It will empower more women to have the choice of when and if to have children. And it will save the lives of thousands of mothers and children every year.
“Though much work remains on the broader issue of reproductive health, we're confident that the commitments made on July 11 will mark an important milestone in getting family planning back on the agenda.”
The charity Save the Children estimate that achieving the aims of the summit will lead to
FPA trustee and junior doctor, David Lawrence explains why he supports the summit.