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Family Planning Drive Launched During Conference In Uganda

Agence France-Presse examines a new U.S.-backed “12 million dollar family planning drive launched” Wednesday during a three-day conference on family planning in Kampala, Uganda. The project aims to “improve access to contraceptives for women in six African nations [including Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Kenya] as well as Indonesia and Pakistan,” the news service writes (Simon, 11/18).

The three-year project, supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “will empower developing counties to advocate for universal access to reproductive health as a critical component in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in health through increased funding, an improved policy environment and increased visibility for family planning at the local, national and global levels,” according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health press release. The program will be “implemented by a consortium of core partners, including the Bloomberg School and Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an inter-governmental agency of 26 countries representing advocates for population and family planning from the South; the African Women’s Development Fund and the Future’s Group International,” who will “collaborate closely with USAID, other bilateral donors, international and local non-governmental organizations and the private sector,” the release adds (11/18).

The AFP article also examines President Obama’s decision to rescind “the Mexico City Policy, which precluded the U.S. from funding any international organisation that provides abortion services or counselling, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a key player in promoting family planning in Africa.”

“‘I think other governments and other countries do look to the U.S. for leadership in this area,’ said Scott Radloff, USAID’s population and reproductive health director, adding that renewed American focus on the issue might help shape events across the continent,” the AFP writes (Simon, 11/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.