Editor’s Note: The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Family Planning Summit in the UK concluded yesterday, with staggering high-dollar commitments from nations and agencies all over the globe. C-FAM Director of Operations Lisa Correnti and activist Wendy Wright, working with pro-life watchdog Turtle Bay and Beyond, were present, keeping a sort of mini-journal of events. Here are some of their chilling reports:
Today on World Population Day, government officials and charitable foundations have convened at the UK Family Planning summit co-sponsored by the Gates Foundation and DFID – the UK’s development aid program, to seek financial commitments to further implement population control efforts in developing countries. Government official after government official and spokespersons for billionaires foundations are all reading from the same script; family planning programs are necessary to save lives of poor women and their children. Their flawed methodology is the same; make long-term contraceptive methods available to poor women and adolescent girls in every area of the globe. The prevention of an unplanned pregnancy amounts to an averted maternal or infant death.
A late morning panel hosted by Dr. Rajiv Shah administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) featured a re-commitment by the U.S. which has been funding reproductive health and family planning programs at $640 million since Hillary Clinton and President Obama have been in leadership. A video of Sec. Clinton praised the attendees and underscored the U.S. commitment to family planning restating “that reproductive rights are human rights.”
Financial commitments from this mornings sessions are the following:
UK (DFID): Aid for family planning will increase from £90 million each year to £180 million – more than £1.4 billion over eight years. EU: Currently $100 million euro on Family Planning, pledged an additional $23M for commodities. Germany: Doubling bilateral commitment from $50 to $100m every year from 2012 to 2015 Korea: Double its investment over next few years from 0.125 to .0.25%. Past year $5.4 million. France: Commits to additional €100 million for FP Australia: Australia plans to spend an additional AUD58 million over 5 years, doubling annual contributions to AUD53 million by 2016. Hewitt Foundation: $20-22 mil for international population work which includes $13m for advocacy to assure support continues. Packard Foundation: $24 million to be used for 1) demand 2) quality and 3) advocacy. Michael Bloomberg: $50 million Dutch: Increase of $100 million, from 370 to $470 million.
Pharmaceutical companies that are sure to capitalize on this initiative were also present to announce their contribution:
Merck announces $50million partnership with Gates Foundation with “choice as the central pillar.” Doubling capacity to reach increased demand for implants. Pfizer: Expanding of Depo-Provera by 50% to increase supplies to $1 billion injectibles.
The afternoon panel should produce additional commitments.
Lisa Correnti, July 11
In the afternoon session of the UK Family Planning Summit Melinda Gates pledged to increase support for family planning by $560 million through 2020. This addition to current funding will bring the total to $1 billion over the next 7 years. Imagine if this funding was directed to providing clinics in the poorest regions of the world rather than for implants, injectibles, and sterilizations. What a shame!
Lisa Correnti, July 11
The UK Family Planning summit has concluded and the total financial commitment by attending countries and foundations amounts to $4.6 billion, which exceeds the $4 billion goal. The Gates Foundation was clear from the onset that it expected solid commitments from countries that attended. Now as one of the presenters said from a prominent foundation “we need to create the need through education.”
Apparently much of the unmet need is from women who don’t know they have an unmet need. Leave it to affluent western nations, billionaires foundations and pharmaceutical companies to do this.