Late last week, 73 members of the House sent a letter to the White House urging the Obama administration to provide one billion dollars in funding for international family planning in his 2011 budget.
The letter highlights the many benefits that such an investment will bring: environmental security, political stability and maternal and child survival. Indeed, a recent report from UNFPA and the Guttmacher Institute makes clear that real investment in family planning is critical to making dramatic health improvements.
UNFPA also recently released its 2009 State of World Population Report making a compelling argument that increased funding for family planning around the world is a key component of both climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The congressional letter follows some very important progress. Over the weekend, both the House and Senate passed legislation to increase U.S. support for family planning around the world to $648 million – nearly a 40 percent increase from just two years ago, and more than a hundred million more than last year. This increase will allow more than 3.5 million more women to use contraceptives. But there are more than 200 million women who want to prevent or delay pregnancy but have no access to birth control, so much more needs to be done. That’s why we are encouraged by the strong support shown by Congress for real investment in family planning.