AFP Statement Urges Emphasis on Family Planning in¬†Global Strategy¬†Update
The Advance Family Planning (AFP) initiative submitted an organizational statement to the United Nations last week to prioritize family planning in the updated¬†Global Strategy on Women‚Äôs, Children‚Äôs and Adolescent‚Äôs Health. AFP‚Äôs statement urges an emphasis on the benefits of investing in family planning and provides recommendations to operationalize stronger family planning programs as a part of the update. Sixteen partners and collaborators of AFP signed on in support.
¬†‚ÄúAccess to high-quality, voluntary family planning is critical to delivering the aims of the Global Strategy,‚Äù the statement asserts. ¬†‚ÄúAny country wanting to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, fight extreme poverty, promote sustainable economic development, and strengthen human rights and equity must give women, men, and young people control over their fertility.‚Äù
In addition, the statement recommended that the updated strategy recognize that:
- Universal health coverage (UHC) includes universal access to family planning;
- Better coordination with country plans and priorities means engaging subnational governments;
- Stronger accountability and transparency requires involvement of government officials, parliamentarians, and civil society;
- A rights-based framework includes sexual and reproductive health and rights; and
- Investments in health systems strengthening should be targeted towards scaling up the health workforce needed to deliver family planning services and supplies.
Connecting Global Goals with National Efforts
In September 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch the updated Global Strategy, building on new evidence since the¬†original Global Strategy of 2010¬†and aligns with the targets and indicators developed for the Sustainable Development Goals framework.
During 2015, the¬†Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health¬†is coordinating global stakeholder consultations to inform the updated Global Strategy. This will be accomplished in two rounds: Round 1 (February-March 2015) will ask stakeholders about their priorities for developing an updated Global Strategy. Round 2 (April-May 2015) will seek comments on the first draft of the updated Global Strategy.
Seventy-three low and middle income countries have already made explicit national commitments to family planning and sexual and reproductive health. AFP recommends that the Global Strategy and Global Financing Facility support national progress toward these commitments and, as the Sustainable Development Goals take shape, provide a clear path to ensuring that high-quality services and supplies are available to the women, men, and young people that are demanding them.