Highlights of the Ouagadougou Partnership participation to the Family Planning Summit

On July 11 2017, the UK Department for International Development (UK DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Family Planning 2020 and in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Affairs Canada co-hosted an international Family Planning Summit in London, UK. Hundreds of policymakers, donors, advocates, high level government officials and businesses from around the world gathered in the British capital to revitalize the global commitment to family planning and to commit to more urgent and intensified measures to accelerate progress towards reaching the Family Planning 2020 goals.

Overall, governments, foundations and others pledged over $2.5 billion of additional funds for family planning and reproductive health and rights at the FP Summit.

The Ouagadougou Partnership which includes 9 francophone West African countries and donors with the objective to improve family planning in the region, was an active and prominent participant to the Summit. Five Ministers of Health (MoH) from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal and Togo, several Ministers of Finance and other government officials were in London along with NGOs, civil society, youth, and donors.

On July 10, 2017, the Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit and the FP2020 Secretariat hosted a side-event titled Ouagadougou Partnership: A regional approach to accelerate family planning, which brought together the Ministers of Health of five member countries and high-level representatives from the remaining four.

About one hundred participants attended the event moderated by Pape Gaye, President of IntraHealth International. Opening remarks were made by Rory Stewart, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chris Elias, President of Global Development at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Ministers of Health of Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Nigeria, the Minister of Finance of Nigeria and the Deputy Minister for International Development of Canada were also in attendance.

Two panel sessions allowed MoH to discuss their countries’ Family Planning commitments and to articulate how they plan to translate these commitments into action to meet acceleration goals by 2020.

On July 11, 2017, Prof. Nicolas Meda, MoH of Burkina Faso, speaking for all nine countries in plenary session, reaffirmed old commitments and made new collective commitments to the Ouagadougou Partnership and to FP2020.

Meeting of the Ouagadougou Partnership at the Family Planning Summit in London. July 10, 2017

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Some notable quotes
“We are very interested to learn from you. We hope to approach this conference from a perspective of humility and understanding.”
Rory Stewart, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

“What I have been able to witness within the past years, is the incredible success of the Ouagadougou Partnership. OP is one of the first groups of FP2020 to reach its goals and make more ambitious goals. One of those successes is the resolution for task shifting. The OP has been able to set positive examples for others to replicate. We are here to learn from you, celebrate your progress and have discussions over the next days.”
Chris Elias, President, Global Development at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“Family planning is an inalienable right. It is up to women to decide how many children they want, when and with whom. Second, dealing with women’s contraception helps accelerate strong economic growth that results from a rapid decline in births. Family planning reduces population growth to have a less dependent population and to develop the country.”
 Prof. Nicolas Meda, Minister of Health Burkina Faso

“The Ouagadougou Partnership has made great strides with an ambitious goal of reaching 2.2 million additional women. And they need more help reaching those targets.”
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

“The Ouagadougou Partnership was born because francophone countries, particularly in West Africa, are lagging behind other countries. All these countries (Anglophone) are ahead, have contraceptive rates of 40% 50% 70%. We are at 4% 5% 10% 15% 20%. So, it’s important that we acknowledged that we have a problem and this will allow us to go much faster, to identify the problems but also the solutions. We are doing it together and I believe that acceleration is happening.”
Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health Senegal

Some interesting facts and numbers

  • Over $2.5 billion pledged or raised at the Family Planning Summit
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed $375 million over the next 4 years, a 60% increase of its current family planning funding
  • UK DFID committed an additional $58 million a year until 2022
  • Canada announced funding of up to $241.5 million to support critical sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services of which 65% will go to Africa. Two Ouagadougou Partnership countries were on the list of funded projects. Care Canada: Preventing early and forced marriage in Benin for $3 million (2017 to 2020) and Helen Keller International: Reproductive health of adolescent girls in Burkina Faso for $10 million (2017 to 2020).

EtriLabs Staff Writer