Family planning is new focus for UK aid

By politics.co.uk staff

Britain’s international development spending is to shift its focus to family planning.

A consultation on aid spending is seeking to establish the most effective ways in which Britain use its aid budget to help lower the number of maternal deaths and newborn deaths caused by a lack of access to basic family planning methods.

At least a third of a million women in the world’s poorest countries die each year during pregnancy and childbirth, according to the Department for International Development (DfID).

It believes it can cut this number by increasing access to family planning, addressing unsafe abortion and making birth safer by giving women access to skilled and well-equipped health workers.

“The international community has failed to assist millions of women by ignoring the complexities of why at least a third of a million women in the world’s poorest countries die during pregnancy and childbirth each year,” Mr Mitchell said.

“For too long we’ve been trying to tackle the issue with one hand tied behind our backs. DfID will now have an unprecedented focus on family planning, which will be hard-wired into all our country programmes.”

Britain’s moves follows a pledge by the G8 last month to prevent 1.3 million under-five deaths and 64,000 maternal deaths.