The lives of millions of women and girls will be transformed by new sexual and reproductive healthcare programmes led by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI) consortia across Africa and South Asia. The programmes will launch integrated healthcare expansion in 27 countries and were announced in Kigali at the International Conference on Family Planning today.
The “Women’s Integrated Sexual Health” (WISH) programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), to deliver access to life-saving contraception for three million more women and men.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt said:
“Investing in family planning gives women control over their own bodies and lives. It helps them complete their education, pursue job opportunities and challenge inequality around the world.”
The new programme will accelerate progress towards meeting global commitments on expanding access to contraception made by governments and civil society organisations through the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) movement.
The IPPF and Marie Stopes International WISH consortia will ensure previously unreached people, especially young and poorer women, are able to access contraception and have the choice on whether, when and how often to have children.
IPPF’s Director General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said the WISH programme would transform lives.
He said: “This is a significant investment and a deep commitment to putting women at the heart of healthcare. Women and girls – of all ages, places, income and education – must have access to high quality, voluntary family planning care and information.
We thank the UK Government for their commitment to this vital issue. Together, we can accelerate change by expanding integrated healthcare through our clinics and outreach services. More services, wider contraceptive options and better access to safe abortion, means the right care at the right time. More power for every girl and woman to decide what to do with her body, with her life, and with her future.”
The WISH programme will scale up efforts at country level, expanding reach to millions of new users of sexual and reproductive health services.
Genet Mengistu, the Executive Director of the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE), an IPPF member, said:
“This is an incredible opportunity to accelerate change for women and girls to decide their own futures. It will get family planning services to Ethiopian women, particularly to those underserved.”
Simon Cooke, CEO at Marie Stopes International, said:
“Through this funding, we and our partners will be able to bring quality sexual and reproductive health services to millions of women in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities. For many, it will be their first chance to access any kind of contraception, empowering them to stay in education, forge a career, stay healthy and pursue their hopes and dreams for the future.
“With this landmark investment in women and girls, the UK Government is creating the right conditions to drive multiple other areas of development, from increasing the number of girls completing education to enabling couples and families in poverty to maximise their earning potential. We applaud DFID for its continued support for this vital and life-changing work.”
The £200 million investment to leading sexual and reproductive health service providers IPPF and MSI is made-up of two individual DFID WISH awards, through consortium arrangements.
IPPF Consortium partners – Development Media International, Humanity and Inclusion, the International Rescue Committee, Marie Stopes International and Options Consultancy.
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