By Abigail Rowlands, SRHR Policy and Advocacy Officer, Plan UK and UK Coordinator, Action for Global Health
On 11th July, the UK Government hosted the Family Planning (FP) Summit, bringing together policymakers, donors, and advocates from around the world to commit to support family planning. Huge progress has been made in the past five years since the 2012 summit – but there are still 214 million girls and women around the world who do not have access to modern contraception, and more without access to sexual and reproductive health services.
At the summit, UK Secretary of State for the Department of International Development (DFID), Priti Patel, committed to increase UK family planning funding by 25% – that’s an additional £45 million per year – until 2022. This brings the total UK spend on family planning to £225 million every year for the next five years.
The Secretary of State was also adamant that family planning is “not an add-on” but one of the pillars of a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and crucial to tackling poverty.
The UK’s commitment was highly welcomed by civil society, alongside a multitude of commitments made by other governments and multilaterals. According to the FP Summit website, financial commitments to be announced at the Summit were expected to total at least $2.5billion USD (£1.9billion GBP) by 2020.
The Morning After
In follow-up to the excitement of the Summit, Plan International UK co-hosted ‘The Morning After – Turning 2017 Family Planning Summit Commitments into Comprehensive Action on SRHR’. As the main civil society forum attached to the Summit, it was a chance for those not at the official summit to reflect and share their thoughts.
Co-organised with the UK SRHR network, Countdown 2030 Europe and other civil society organisations, the event brought together over 100 global participants and leaders to consider and take forward actions following the Summit. Below we pull out three of the key takeaways from the discussions.
3 key takeaways:
1. A vision of rights-based, comprehensive SRHR is vital for progress on family planning
2. Need to support a strong youth leadership voice
3. Civil society energy and commitment to prioritise FP and SRHR