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Voluntary Family Planning Investments Key To Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The Guardian: Family planning is a key development goal that needs greater investment
John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council

“Family planning is much more than a vital health and human rights intervention … Investments in voluntary family planning are also investments in sustainable development, and therefore should be of as much of concern to ministers of finance as to ministers of health. … Family planning is assigned a low national priority, relegated to the health budgets of donors and the portfolios of health ministers, who are often battling a range of other health issues. From a broader perspective, this low priority is a mistake, because family planning programs have a wide array of development benefits that often are under-appreciated. … Family planning must therefore be reclassified as a development intervention. If we’re truly serious about meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, we must embrace the rare investment opportunities that drive progress on many different development fronts — family planning chief among them” (8/1).