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    December 2011
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Women To Decide When And How Many Kids To Have

Nairobi, 1st December 2011 Britain will save the lives of thousands of women by providing urgently needed contraceptive supplies, International Development Minister Stephen O’Brien announced today ahead of the International Conference on Family Planning in Senegal.
Britain’s support with these contraceptives will prevent more than 2 million unintended pregnancies and avert nearly 220,000 unsafe abortions, many of which result in life-threatening complications such as severe bleeding and organ damage.Stephen O’Brien said the funding for the UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA) will provide at least 1.6 million implants for women across the developing world so that they can decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have.
It will ensure women in countries such as Mali, where the prevalence of contraception is only 8% compared with 82% in Britain, receive implants, which are long-acting but reversible methods of birth control.
In addition, Britain is backing a rapid response-style unit which will procure and deliver up to 6 months worth of contraceptive supplies to countries where stocks are running out to give local providers an opportunity to find lasting solutions.
Speaking at the International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal, International Development Minister Stephen O’Brien said:
“Millions of unintended pregnancies occur every year because 215 million women who desperately want to delay or avoid pregnancy are unable to do so.
“For many, this amounts to a death sentence with a woman dying in pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes – 99% of them in the developing world.
“Giving girls and women the choice to decide whether, when and how many children they have is a priority for Britain. It means fewer women die in childbirth and the poorest families can make what little they have go further.
“Family planning is a smart, simple and extremely cost effective investment of aid. It is at the centre of all our development work and we are going to ensure more women are given the choices they want and deserve.”
Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin said:
“UNFPA is grateful for the new commitment by the British Government to increase access to reproductive health services, especially voluntary family planning, worldwide.
“This generous contribution will go a long way towards saving the lives of women and children, as well as to strengthening health systems and reducing poverty. It also demonstrates the British Government’s dedication to helping women and young people to forge a brighter future for themselves, their communities and nations.”
British support to UNFPA is part of Britain’s commitment to enable at least 10 million more women and girls to use modern methods of family planning by 2015 to reduce the unmet need for family planning.
Britain’s overall commitment to maternal health will directly contribute to preventing more than 5 million unintended pregnancies and to saving the lives of at least 50,000 women during pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborns by 2015.
Increasing access to quality family planning information, services and supplies directly helps girls and women delay their first pregnancy. Preventing pregnancy in young adolescents makes a particularly significant difference to girls’ life chances – allowing them to stay in school and complete their education.

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