Media release: doubling family planning aid a crucial initiative
Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s decision to double Australia’s family planning funding to $50 million a year is a crucial and much welcome initiative, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).
Minister Carr made the announcement as a London Summit on Family Planning organised by the Gates Foundation and the UK Government sought funding of $2 billion to allow 120 million women access to family planning services. Around 222 million women around the world want modern contraception but cannot access it.
SPA National President, Ms Sandra Kanck, says universal access to reproductive services – of which family planning or contraception is an important component – is a target under Millennium Development Goal 5.
“We have an obligation to help achieve this target and the $50 million annually will go some way to achieving it, and set a good example to other wealthy countries,” she says.
“Giving the bulk of money to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is sensible as they can reach reputable family planning organisations worldwide.
“But the $10 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) for reproductive services for people caught up in disasters is particularly welcome. Too often women arrive in refugee camps pregnant and cannot give birth safely, nor can they prevent further pregnancies,” Ms Kanck says.
“To those who believe family planning is coercive, I say it is coercive to deny women the right to control over their own bodies and to determine the number and spacing of their children,” she says.
Further information: Sandra Kanck 08 8336 4114