…UNFPA Executive Director
The acting Executive Director for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that despite the dramatic progress in providing family planning services across the world, enormous challenges remain.
In a statement commemorating this year’s World Population Day (July 11), Dr. Natalia Kanem disclosed that about 214 million women in developing countries lack safe and effective family planning methods.
“Most of these women live in the 69 poorest countries. Fulfilling their unmet demand would save lives by averting 67 million unintended pregnancies and reducing by one third the estimated 303,000 annual maternal deaths,” Dr. Kanem said.
The UNFPA boss said better reproductive health care, including voluntary family planning “can bolster economies and contribute to sustainable development by empowering women to complete their education, join the paid labour force and be more productive in their jobs.
The UNFPA acting boss said family planning is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1, to end poverty.
She also noted that it is important to achieve other goals, such as ending hunger, promoting good health and gender equality.
She disclosed that UNFPA has set an ambitious and transformative goal to eliminate all unmet demands for family planning by 2030.
Dr. Kanem called on all governments and stakeholders to help achieve this goal thereby calling on the 179 governments to fulfill their commitments to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including voluntary family planning.