UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to help increase access to family planning information, contraceptives and services in developing countries, particularly for young people.
The agreement will draw on both organizations’ strengths and expertise in support of the global goal of expanding access to high-quality, voluntary family planning supplies and services for an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries by 2020. The Gates Foundation brings a global network of partners and expertise in technology and innovation, while UNFPA contributes country-level reach, experience working with governments and expertise in family planning and reproductive health.
“UNFPA and the Gates Foundation are working together to advance the goals and principles of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning to enable women and adolescent girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether and when to have children and how many they want to have,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who participated in the signing ceremony in Seattle.
The partnership will help expand access to a range of contraceptive technologies, especially new and underused methods. The focus will be on long-acting, reversible contraceptives, such as injectables and implants. UNFPA and the Gates Foundation will use innovative approaches to expand method choice and availability in clinical and non-clinical settings, including harnessing open source information, mobile and information technologies to improve supply chain management and prevent stock-outs, and social media to tackle social, cultural and gender issues.