The Jakarta Post
The fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) wrapped up on Thursday with stronger commitments, actions and funding to accelerate family planning program worldwide.
'Every two years we gather at the ICFP to learn from one another and map out strategies to accelerate progress. Our goals are bold but, according to the latest Family Planning or FP2020 progress report, we risk falling short of the promises we've made to the millions of women that want contraception if we don't step up,' said Jose 'Oying' Rimon II, chair of the ICFP international steering committee and director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
Since the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where the FP2020 goal was first agreed upon by global leaders, 37 countries, including Indonesia, have committed to reaching this goal, through efforts such as providing an additional 120 million women access to voluntary, quality contraceptive by 2020.
'This past year has seen the largest wave of new commitments to FP2020 since the London Summit, and existing partners are stepping up with new and increased pledges. More exciting commitment announcements are expected imminently, a testament not only to the compelling power of the FP2020 vision but to the growing value of this platform as a catalyst for change,' said Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for instance, has pledged an additional US$120 million to accelerate family planning in the next years.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is expanding this year commitment to bring family planning services to women with an unmet need for modern contraception.
IPPF is now aiming to reach 60 million new users of family planning by 2020.
On Thursday, during the closing ceremony one of the highlights was the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL), which recognized contributions to increase access to and use of voluntary family planning information and services.
The 2016 winners are Kenya and Ethiopia for the country category, Yayasan Cipta Cara Padu from Indonesia for organization, Jannete Loreto-Garin, secretary of the health department, the Philippines, and Edcel Lagman, from the Philippines.
This year's ICFP also stressed the importance of involving youths and promoting youth health and programs.
The world's population of young people is at a historic high with 1.8 billion entering their reproductive years. Adolescent girls are at a dramatically heightened risk for pregnancy- and childbirth-related health complications, which is a leading cause of death among young women aged 15 to 19 in low- and middle-income countries.
'Investing in education, health and employment; recognizing that youths are precious human resources, and investment in youths will produce wealth and well-being for all nations; this is the transformation we can bring to the 2030 agenda,' said Benoit Kalasa, director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) technical division.