On July 11, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at extending global access to family planning services where women and girls need it most.
Working with national governments, donors, non-profits, the private sector, the research and development communities, and others, this family planning partnership will provide affordable and lifesaving contraceptive information, services and supplies to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s most desolate nations by 2020.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $50 million contribution comes during a time when family planning services are most at need. Over 200 million women and girls wish to plan their maternal futures, but lack the necessary resources to delay, space or avoid becoming pregnant. Without access to or only access to ineffective methods of contraception, over 75 million unplanned pregnancies happen every year. This contribution will help provide the means for women to have control over their health in reducing the risk of death or disability during pregnancy and childbirth, in places where quality of care is inadequate or unavailable.
Recognizing maternal health as a crucial public health issue, Michael Bloomberg remarked on the new family planning initiative in saying, “Making affordable contraceptive information, services, and supplies available to an additional 120 million women and girls by 2020 will save 200,000 lives that would have been lost to pregnancy or childbirth. No one has worked harder to set this initiative in motion than the remarkable Melinda Gates. This effort will make an enormous difference.”