“The downward trend, in terms of donor funding for international family planning, since the middle of the 1990s to around 2006 has been reversed,” José Rimon II, senior program officer for global health policy and advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko following a discussion on the future of family planning
at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
“There is a lot of scientific evidence that if we don’t revitalize the family planning/ reproductive health agenda, it will be very difficult to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals, especially in the area of reducing maternal mortality,” said Rimon. “Just by addressing the unmet need [for contraceptives] and the unintended pregnancies which result from it, you can reduce maternal mortality by 31 percent.”
Rimon said the Gates Foundation is working closely with donors and partner organizations to exchange information on strategy and funding priorities, which, he says, is “not happening in other issues, but it’s happening in the family planning and reproductive field.”