Population Council Applauds Melinda Gates Focus
on Family Planning
In a speech today at TEDxChange in Berlin, Melinda Gates launched a major initiative for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote family planning in developing countries. Gates emphasized the role family planning plays in advancing women's and children’s health and enabling increased investments in education and economic development.
In her speech, Gates discussed landmark Population Council research in Bangladesh that demonstrated the significant benefit of voluntary family planning programs on reproductive health and other important development indicators. Read more about the Population Council’s work.
Below is a statement from Population Council president Peter Donaldson on the Gates Foundation's new family planning focus:
"Voluntary family planning is a powerful tool to empower women and improve societies. We applaud the Gates Foundation's increased focus on this critical health and development issue. The fact that one of the world's most important international donors is emphasizing the issue means progress is achievable.
"When women have access to family planning, everyone benefits. Women and children are healthier; families and communities can invest more in education and health care; and poverty is reduced.
"More than 200 million women worldwide who want to prevent pregnancy lack access to modern contraception. If we could meet their needs, we could prevent 23 million unintended pregnancies, more than 140,000 maternal deaths, and more than a million infant deaths every year. And we could bring substantial health, social, and economic benefits to communities and nations.
"For 60 years, the Population Council has been working to improve family planning services, empower women with information, and develop new contraceptive methods to help women achieve their reproductive goals. Our work has played a pivotal role in understanding how family planning can improve lives. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Gates Foundation and our government and NGO partners to increase the coverage, quality, and cost-effectiveness of family planning policies, programs, and products around the world."
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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