Indonesia Serves As Example Of How U.S. Foreign Aid, Support For Contraceptives Can Lift Nations Out Of Poverty
USA TODAY: Melinda Gates: Foreign aid cuts to contraceptives in Trump’s budget hurt millions of women
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“…Indonesia has strategically used foreign aid to transform itself from a poor nation into a middle-income one. I was there [recently] to talk about the role that smart investments in contraceptives have played in the transformation. … Consider the fact that 50 years ago, fewer than one in 10 Indonesian women were using family planning tools. The average Indonesian woman had five or six children, and she was raising them in extreme poverty. Then, with support from donor nations like the U.S., Indonesia implemented a hugely successful family planning program. In just one generation, access to contraceptives skyrocketed to over 50 percent. … Today, Indonesia is the world’s eighth largest economy and one of our country’s biggest trading partners. … Even so, our work is not finished. Indonesia has yet to complete the transition to a fully developed nation — in part because there are still millions of women across the country who are not using contraceptives due to a lack of access, information, or options that meet their needs. … As the debate over cutting funding for development assistance continues, we will be asked whether we believe that investing in developing countries and the women and girls who live there is worth it. … Indonesia is only one of many countries whose future will be impacted by the funding decisions the U.S. makes — and its story is a reminder both of what is possible and what is at stake…” (4/2).