New analysis shows better family planning can break the cycle of poverty, drive new economic growth, and improve the health of a country’s citizens
KIGALI, Rwanda, 12 November 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- A groundbreaking new report on family planning in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries released today shows use of contraception is growing fastest in Africa, with 24% of women of reproductive age now using modern methods. Across the 69 countries studied globally, more women and girls than ever before are making the voluntary choice to use contraception in their everyday lives.
More importantly, country governments are prioritizing family planning programs as an essential part of their development strategies.
Across African countries studied in the report, unmet need for modern contraception among married women of reproductive age decreased since 2012 across the board.
- In Eastern and Southern Africa, 63% of demand for modern contraception was met in 2018, up from 54% in 2012
- In Central Africa: 27% of demand was met in 2018, up from 21% in 2012
- In Western Africa: 38% of demand was met in 2018, up from 32% in 2012
- More than 317 million women and girls are now choosing to use a modern method of contraception.
- This is 46 million additional users than in 2012, the year FP2020 was launched, and is 30% higher than the historic trend.
- Between July 2017 and July 2018, the use of modern contraception prevented more than:
The report also shows how better access to family planning can deliver a powerful ‘demographic dividend’ that can help transform economies, as birthrates drop and the ratio of adults to dependent children increases. With fewer dependents to support, a country can invest more in education, infrastructure, and other productivity-enhancing measures.
“Family planning empowers women, and empowered women are economic dynamos: joining the labor force, starting their own businesses, and investing in their communities. This sparks a ripple effect that generates vast benefits across society, driving productivity, prosperity, and sustainability,” Schlachter said.
Remarkably, if women were able to participate in the economy at the same level as men, it would add some US$28 trillion to global GDP by 2025, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
The report also reveals that after two years of declines, global donor funding for family planning is on the upswing, with a 6% increase since 2016. Bilateral donations in 2017 were led by the U.S. (US$488.7 million, representing 38% of total global bilateral funding), followed by the U.K. (US$282.4M, 22%), the Netherlands (US$197M, 16%) and Sweden (US$109.2M, 9%).
Among African countries, domestic government spending on family planning (2016) was led by Ethiopia (US$21M), Kenya (US$19M), and Zimbabwe (US$18.1M).
While progress on key family planning outcomes has been impressive in recent years, there remains far more work to do, and an increasingly important role for cross-sectoral collaboration. For example, today’s report shows innovative new partnerships with communities of faith where leaders in many parts of the world exert significant social influence, and discussions on sensitive cultural topics often take place.
The report is available in electronic format at [progress.familyplanning2020.org]. Country fact sheets with new data from the report, and other information, are available at www.familyplanning2020.org
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Family Planning 2020 .