Ten reasons why your support matters
Your contribution will fund research to better the lives of the world's most vulnerable individuals.
- Saving mothers
- Helping women prevent unintended pregnancies
- Ending female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
- Stopping sexual and gender-based violence
- Ending child marriage
- Keeping girls in school
- Preserving the lives of newborns and young children
- Stopping the death of children from AIDS
- Supporting populations vulnerable to HIV
- Halting the spread of HIV
Why Your Support Matters brochure (PDF)
Right now: Globally, a woman dies of pregnancy-related causes every minute—536,000
deaths a year. Ninety-nine percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. For every woman who dies, 20 or more are injured or disabled.
Making change: The rate of maternal deaths dropped by two-thirds at ten hospitals participating in a Population Council project in Kano, Nigeria. We design and evaluate cost-effective programs to make pregnancy safer and to ensure that high-quality medical care and contraceptive services are available to more women.
Right now: Today, more than 200 million women have an unmet need for contraception—they would like either to stop having children or to delay the birth of their next child for at least
two years, but they are not using an effective contraceptive method.
Making change: More than 120 million women worldwide have used Population Council–developed products for family planning. We work to identify and address barriers to contraceptive use; we also collaborate with the private sector to develop and introduce new
contraceptives that address the needs of women and men.
Right now: Between 100 million and 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), which involves the cutting, removal, and sometimes the sewing up of the external female genitalia for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons. Complications—including infection, psychological trauma, difficulties during childbirth, and gynecologic problems—are common.
Making change: The Population Council designs and evaluates programs to end FGM/C.
In Burkina Faso, a variety of strategies supported by the Council—including enforcement of a law against FGM/C, strong government support for programs encouraging the abandonment of FGM/C, and debates in the mass media—led to widespread declarations of intention to abandon FGM/C. Demographic surveys showed a decline in prevalence between 2003 and 2006 (from
77% to 59%) among women aged 15–49.
Right now: 33 percent of women around the world have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during their lifetimes.
Making change: The Population Council designs programs that help men change their attitudes about relationships with women and help survivors of abuse get increased access to critical services, including reproductive health care. In Ethiopia, our program training male mentors for
married men has had documented success in increasing husband–wife communication. Thousands of survivors of abuse have benefited from Population Council projects, and millions benefit as we share lessons learned with a wide network of organizations.
Right now: There are 60 million young women aged 20–24 who were married or in a union before the age of 18. Population Council research shows that if current trends continue, in the next decade 100 million girls will marry before their childhoods have ended. Married girls lack economic and social opportunities and are at increased risk for domestic violence, coerced sex, and, in some cases, HIV infection.
Making change: Population Council programs help to reduce child marriage and girls’ social isolation while allowing them to continue their education in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Our pilot programs have demonstrated that increasing access to education, health, and economic opportunities can delay marriage, and empower girls to take control of their health and financial futures.
Right now: UNESCO and UNICEF estimate that more than 115 million 6-to-12-year-olds in the
developing world are not in school, and 60 percent of them are girls. Concerns about safety and quality prompt many parents to remove their daughters from school at a young age or not to enroll them at all.
Making change: In Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, Pakistan, Sudan, and Vietnam, the
Population Council has designed programs to improve school quality and expand safe spaces
where girls can gather to meet with peers, form new friendships and alliances, receive mentoring support, and acquire new and valued skills. Our innovative scholarship and livelihoods programs help girls stay in or return to school, improve their opportunities, and
Right now: In 2007, 9.2 million children died before their fifth birthdays. Every day, 11,000 infants die before they are one month old. Newborns in developing countries are ten times more likely to die than newborns in industrialized countries.
Making change: In rural Ghana child mortality among children younger than five was reduced by
two-thirds in eight years through the introduction of nurses who deliver basic health services, such as immunizations and medications, door-to-door. Council research contributes to upgrading obstetric practices, care for newborns, and child health services. We devise methods to reach the poor more effectively with low-cost, low-technology interventions that save children’s lives.
Right now: 370,000 children worldwide under age 15 became infected with HIV in 2007. In the same year, approximately 270,000 HIV-infected children died of AIDS-related causes.
Making change: In South Africa, the Population Council is introducing multiple strategies to identify children infected with HIV and link them to life-prolonging treatment. We develop cost-effective ways to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to expand HIV testing and counseling for children, their families, and their caregivers.
Right now: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are nearly 20 times more likely to become infected with HIV than the general population in low- and middle-income countries.
Making change: The Population Council is implementing the first comprehensive, national
health program to reduce HIV infection among MSM and other high-risk men in Nigeria. With
local partners, the Council studies the risk behaviors and health care needs of MSM and outlines policy and program changes to improve services for them.
Right now: An estimated 2,900 new HIV infections occur each day among women ages 15 and older; 80 percent of new infections in women occur in marriage or in long-term relationships with
Making change: The Population Council is developing several microbicides, which are female-initiated methods for reducing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. We increase access to new and existing health care technologies for women and men to provide safe, effective, and affordable options for preventing HIV.