All women and girls have the right, and must have the means, to decide freely and for themselves whether and when to have children. Access to voluntary family planning leads to transformational benefits across the development spectrum, and is one of the smartest investments a country can make in its future. At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, leaders from around the world committed to expanding contraceptive access to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries by the year 2020. Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is the movement that carries this global effort forward.
In the two years since the London Summit, FP2020 has made remarkable progress. The first year was a period of formation; the second has been one of growing momentum and measurable results. In this second annual progress report we document the advances made over the past year, including additional commitments from countries, increased disbursements from donors, and progress across multiple sectors. The measurement systems established to track progress are now yielding the first set of annual results.
In November 2013, five more countries made commitments to FP2020, bringing the total number of commitment countries to 29. Additional countries are expected to make commitments before the end of this year. One-half of FP2020 commitment countries now have formal, detailed plans to guide their national family planning strategies, including all nine countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership in francophone West Africa. A dozen FP2020 commitment countries have hosted conferences on family planning in the past year. Profiles for 15 countries are included in this report, illustrating each country’s progress toward fulfilling its FP2020 commitments.
In 2013, donor governments disbursed US$1.3 billion in bilateral funding for family planning programs—representing a nearly 20% increase since 2012—as well as US$460 million in core contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Philanthropic foundations and the private sector followed through on their commitments as well, including allocations for service delivery programs, commodity security, product innovation and access, advocacy, awareness and more. Included in this report are profiles of a cross-section of donors, private sector partners, and civil society organizations, describing their activities in support of FP2020 commitments.
This report also presents our first annual updated estimates for the quantitative indicators we use to measure progress toward the FP2020 goal. In 2013, 8.4 million additional women and girls used modern contraception compared to 2012. While this number is just below our projected benchmark of 9.4 million additional users in the first year, it is still a significant milestone. More women and girls
than ever before have access to contraceptives, and the FP2020 collaboration is clearly working. We anticipated that growth would be slowest in the first years of the initiative as countries and partners expand their programs; in many countries, an enormous effort is required simply to maintain existing levels of service. The data show that FP2020 is on the right track and making steady progress; however, we must collectively accelerate our efforts in order to reach 120 million more women and girls by 2020.
In 2013, across the 69 FP2020 focus countries, we estimate that the use of modern contraception by a total of 274 million women and girls averted 77 million unintended pregnancies, which is two million more unintended pregnancies averted than in 2012. Preventing unintended pregnancies creates substantial health impacts by reducing women’s exposure to unsafe abortions and maternal deaths. In 2013, there were 24 million unsafe abortions averted (compared to 23 million in 2012) and 125,000 maternal deaths averted (compared to 120,000 in 2012).
Important progress is being made to overcome barriers and expand access to family planning. This report describes achievements in political advocacy, awareness-raising, youth outreach, market-shaping efforts, supply chain strengthening, service delivery improvements, and technological innovation, with a strong focus on maintaining the rights-based approach at the heart of FP2020.
FP2020 facilitates progress by coordinating and building on existing architecture and frameworks. FP2020 is aligned with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and fosters cooperation and strategic alliances among donors, partners, countries, and other stakeholders in the family planning community. An FP2020 focal point network has been established in every commitment-making country, and FP2020 assists in matching countries with the technical and financial resources needed to accelerate progress. Additionally, FP2020 has launched a Rapid Response Mechanism to fund short-term, high-impact projects in response to urgent needs or unforeseen opportunities in FP2020 focus countries.
The commitments made to FP2020 are translating into progress, but there is still much to do. As the global community shapes its post-2015 development agenda, we must keep our focus on the importance of family planning to the lives and health of women and girls—and on its tremendous potential to enable a more prosperous, just and sustainable world.