Three years ago, we made a promise. At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, we pledged to bring modern contraception within reach of an additional 120 million women and girls by the year 2020. As we approach the halfway point to 2020, we can see clearly how much we’ve accomplished together, how much is left to do, and whether we’re on track for our goal.
Today, because of the work of FP2020’s partners around the world, more women and girls than ever before are using modern contraception. An unprecedented 290.6 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries are now able to decide for themselves whether and when to get pregnant, an increase of 24.4 million from the time of the London Summit.
Nevertheless, our results aren’t measuring up to our ambition. We’ve reached 24.4 million women and girls with lifesaving contraception, but that’s 10 million fewer than we had hoped to reach by this time. If we continue at this rate, we risk missing our goal—and leaving millions of women and girls without the care and services they need and deserve.
The good news is that the global partnership we’ve built together has given us an incredibly strong foundation for the work ahead. Countries, donors, and partners are connecting as never before to expand existing programs and strategize on new directions.
With five years remaining until 2020, FP2020 and its partners must take immediate action to accelerate progress. We must reexamine our commitments to ensure we’re doing all we can, and reinvigorate our efforts wherever necessary.
The good news is that the global partnership we’ve built together has given us an incredibly strong foundation for the work ahead. Countries, donors, and partners are connecting as never before to expand existing programs and strategize on new directions. Seven countries and five institutional partners have joined the FP2020 movement in the past year alone, marking the greatest surge in new commitments since 2012.* Bilateral funding for family planning has increased by almost a third since the London Summit.
The FP2020 platform itself has emerged as a unique space for the global community to collaborate on family planning. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of numerous partners, we’ve established an unparalleled measurement framework to track data on family planning and use it to make decisions. Market-shaping interventions are making contraceptives more available and affordable, and collectively we’re working to ensure that rights and empowerment principles are built into the DNA of every family planning program.
Now we need to pick up the pace. This means building on the momentum we’ve created and taking it further: increasing pledges, scaling up successful interventions, dedicating additional country and donor resources, and setting more ambitious objectives to deliver contraceptives to the women and girls who want and need them.
The process of acceleration is already underway. As we announce in this report, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is pledging to increase its financial commitment to family planning by 25% over the next three years. Marie Stopes International has doubled its FP2020 goal, and Pathfinder International and Jhpiego have also renewed their commitments. More partners and countries were stepping forward with new and expanded commitments as this report went to press. And the FP2020 Secretariat is finalizing an intensive, months-long strategic review, accepting the challenge to strengthen our own efforts while exploring new ways to maximize global and country impact.
Success is within our grasp, but only if we work together. We’ve come so far, but we must go further. Let’s capitalize on the platform we’ve built, the partnerships we’ve forged, and the knowledge we’ve gained. For the millions of women and girls who are counting on us to deliver on the promise of the London Summit, the time to act is now.
*As of the date the print version of this report went to press; since then a commitment has been made by one more institutional partner (the International Contraceptive Access Foundation).