Universal Access Project: Millennium Development Goal 5

Working to achieve universal access to reproductive health care – Millennium Development Goal 5 – which leads to healthier women, stronger families and more stable, prosperous comm


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About the project Edit

The evidence is clear. Investing in reproductive health — in particular, family planning and maternal health services — is a cross-cutting and cost-effective solution to achieving progress on all of the Millennium Development Goals. Access to voluntary family planning saves the lives of women and children, reduces poverty, promotes environmental sustainability, increases security, and allows women to pursue educational and income-generating opportunities.

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What is the social value of this project? Edit

Currently, 215 million women want the ability to time and space their pregnancies, but lack access to quality reproductive health and voluntary family planning services. Those living in developing countries are disproportionally lacking access to services and supplies. Fulfilling the unmet need for voluntary family planning alone would cut maternal deaths by a third, and reduce infant mortality by 10 to 20 percent.

Our work seeks to engage and educate policymakers and the public to support IRH/FP as a central element of U.S. development assistance; to view IRH/FP as a critical component of any basic health package and a necessary tool to achieve improvements in global health; and to support comprehensive policies and services that effectively integrate IRH/FP into existing global health and development policies.

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What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Every woman deserves the fundamental right to quality reproductive health care, as it is critical not only to her own well-being, but also to the well-being of our world.

• In developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among women in their reproductive years.
• Experts estimate that access to family planning alone would save the lives of 114,000 women.
• At least 250,000 maternal deaths and as many as 1.7 million newborn deaths would be averted if the need for both family planning and maternal and newborn health services were met.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

To-date, the initiative has contributed to:

• A 30 percent increase in U.S. funding for IRH/FP since the start of the initiative in 2008;
• Sustained funding for IRH/FP for the 2012 fiscal year
• Reinstated funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
• Federal policies that increasingly recognize IRH/FP as essential components of U.S. development assistance, with IRH/FP as a centerpiece of the Global Health Initiative; and
• Expanded and more collaborative capacity of NGOs and others to advocate on behalf of IRH/FP.

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