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PopOffsets grants support family planning

PopOffsets, the unique carbon offset scheme of Population Matters, has donated £5,000 each to the Population, Health & Environment Consortium in Ethiopia and the Margaret Pyke Centre in London. PHE Ethiopia Consortium takes an integrated approach to development, addressing environmental, health and population issues together. It aims to increase access to family planning and thus improve maternal health, quality of life and resilience to climate change while reducing carbon emissions and pressure on ecosystems. 41% of pregnancies in Ethiopia are unintended, and 70% of women have no access to contraception, leading to an estimated 1.5 million unwanted pregnancies each year. The PopOffsets funds will be used for family planning sensitization. Director Negash Teklu said: “We are grateful for this grant. Our high population growth rate makes it harder for us to tackle so many of our problems, including those of food security and climate change; so meeting people’s unmet need for family planning is a key part of the solution across the board – it’s a win, win, win”. The grant to the Margaret Pyke Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health will support the development of an on-line counselling service for women considering intrauterine contraception. This will allow women to get preliminary advice on-line, freeing up professional staff time to deal with in-depth individual counselling. The Centre is run alongside the NHS, but this aspect of their work is not covered by the NHS budget. Dr Chris Wilkinson, Lead Consultant at Margaret Pyke, said: “This grant will provide a useful tool for many women. In most cases, it will avoid the need for a formal first counselling session, allowing us to provide more of a walk-in service for women needing follow-up advice and help”. Population Matters Chair Roger Martin said: “We are delighted to be able to help these two important new partners. We are keenly aware that addressing unmet need enables couples to decide what size family is best for them, making them more healthy and resilient to climate change. We also need to stabilise the UK population, where carbon emissions per person are vastly higher, and reducing unplanned births is an essential condition for effective emissions reduction." Notes: The Margaret Pyke Memorial Trust is a charity which funds training and research in the field of sexual and reproductive health. Margaret Pyke Centre (www.margaretpyke.org) in Camden, London is the hub of a network of family planning clinics. PHE Ethiopia Consortium (http://www.phe-ethiopia.org) was founded in 2007 and has 47 member organisations whose activities embrace sustainable agriculture; soil, water and wildlife conservation; health and sanitation; generation of alternative incomes; food security; and of course family planning and mother and child health. Previous PopOffsets grant recipients include: the two marine conservation projects protecting the livelihoods of coastal communities in Madagascar through a ‘PHE’ approach, Blue Ventures and Reef Doctor; the Kampala-based Population and Climate Change African Forum; and the Brook Institute in London.

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