Melbourne – 17th June 2021
MSI Reproductive Choices is pleased to announce a new partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to roll out a new project to protect access to sexual and reproductive health and rights project in the Asia Pacific region during COVID-19.
Funded by the Australian Government, the two organisations will deliver a two-year programme, Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery Mechanisms (RESPOND).
The AU $33.4 million initiative, beginning July 2021 and running until mid-2023, will support MSI country programmes and IPPF Member Associations to respond to the additional sexual and reproductive health needs of communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 22 countries.
Simon Cooke, CEO at MSI Reproductive Choices, welcomed the news, saying:
“Giving women and girls the power to make reproductive choices is one of the smartest global investments, costing less than 2 pence per day to protect a young woman from an unintended pregnancy, giving her the chance to stay in school, forge a career, or even save her life.
“However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of women and girls around the world have had access to sexual and reproductive health and rights stripped as these essential services have been deprioritised. When women are faced with crises, the need for reproductive choice has been shown to rise, at the very time that access falls.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with DFAT and IPPF to protect access to life changing and life-saving services when they are needed most and are grateful to the Australian government for their leadership in prioritising this within their COVID-19 response.”
IPPF’s Director General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in many countries across the Asia-Pacific, especially on the lives of women and girls, who have been disproportionately affected by the uneven burden of caring responsibilities, increases in gender-based violence, and reduced access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.
“If the world is to build back better after the coronavirus pandemic and achieve greater gender equality, high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare must form an essential part of any effort. It is fantastic to work with a long-standing partner like DFAT that recognises this.
“We are immensely grateful for the Australian government’s unwavering support so that IPPF, alongside our partners at MSI Reproductive Choices, can continue providing life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare both during the pandemic and beyond.”
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Notes to Editors
About MSI Reproductive Choices
MSI is a global organisation providing contraception and safe abortion services to women and girls in 37 countries. We believe that every woman and girl must determine her own future, and the high-quality services we provide give a woman the power to pursue her dreams for herself and her family.
It only costs £6 per year – or 2 pence / 3 cents per day – for MSI to protect a girl or young woman from an unintended pregnancy. This reproductive choice keeps girls in school, supports women to lead, and helps to build more equal communities. Join us in making choice possible.