The U.N. Population Fund has gained renewed donor support days after it launched the State of the World’s Population 2012 report, which underscored the economic benefits of family planning.
Over the next four years, Australia will be providing 70 million Australian dollars ($73.1 million) to UNFPA. The country’s previous contribution to the fund has reached AU$86 million, which was used for the provision of contraceptives in Mongolia and basic obstetric equipment in Kiribati, and training of midwives in Cambodia and doctors in the Palestinian territories.
The money, announced Monday (Nov. 26) by Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr, is expected to be used for the same purposes to help provide an estimated 222 million women access to family planning services and supplies. Meeting the need for family planning worldwide could help prevent 54 million unintended pregnancies and result in 26 million fewer abortions, according to the report.
The report also notes that developing countries could save some $11.3 billion annually in maternal and newborn health care costs if everyone has access to family planning services.
It is not clear if the announced funding is on top of the government’s commitment to provide more than AU$50 million on family planning per year by 2016. But Australia said its funding will focus on countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.