PSN Fact Sheet on benefits of investment in family planning

September 25, 2012


PSN has published a fact sheet outlining the rationale for increased investment in voluntary family planning programmes that respect and protect rights, updated with the latest data on unmet need for modern contraception and the benefits and cost-saving effects that addressing this unmet need would bring.

Credit: UN Photo


Family planning: the unmet need

There are an estimated 222 million women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using an effective form of contraception. At the same time as driving unsustainable rates of population growth, this vast unmet need for contraception is undermining women's health and rights and exacerbating a number of other pressing development issues.

Investment in voluntary family planning programmes: Benefits and cost-saving effects brings together key data on population and reproductive rights to highlight why investment in family planning programmes is a highly cost-effective development intervention.

The fact sheet presents key statistics on the following links and issues:

  1. The unmet need for family planning
  2. Links between high rates of population growth and lack of access to family planning
  3. Health benefits of fulfilling the need of family planning
  4. Wider benefits of investment in family planning and cost-saving effects
  5. Inadequacy of current funding for family planning

Family planning: good value and good sense

Despite the far-reaching impacts and cost-saving effects of family planning, there is insufficient international support and funding for family planning programme.

Since the mid-to-late 1990s, donor assistance dedicated specifically to family planning has decreased dramatically in absolute terms, while demand has of course has increased during this time.

Drawing on data from the Guttmacher Insitute, the document outlines the estimated shortfall in funding for family planning, and sets out the number of maternal and child deaths and the number of unplanned pregnancies that would be averted if this funding shortfall were addressed.

The importance of investment in family planning and reproductive health programmes for wider development programmes is illustrated by the following quote by Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General, December 2003 -

"The Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, cannot be achieved if questions of population and reproductive health are not squarely addressed. And that means stronger efforts to promote women's rights, and greater investment in education and health, including reproductive health and family planning."

Read the fact sheet: Investment in voluntary family planning programmes: Benefits and cost-saving effects