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DFID announces major new funding for Marie Stopes International

Friday 31 August 2018 Contraception, Press release, Maternal health

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DFID announces major funding award for Marie Stopes International’s family planning services in West & Central Africa

The Department for International Development (DFID) has announced funding for a major new programme that will help Marie Stopes International to bring quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services to millions of women and girls in West and Central Africa.

The programme, Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH), will run until 2021. Working with a consortium of partners, Marie Stopes International will provide a mixture of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services across 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

Services funded through WISH will focus on bringing family planning services to women in some of the most marginalised groups in the region, including young women at increased risk of unplanned pregnancy, and women living in poverty.

Over the course of the programme, it is estimated that the Marie Stopes WISH Consortium will:

  • Avert 2.6 million unintended pregnancies
  • Avert 1.7 million unsafe abortions
  • Avert 16,240 maternal deaths

 Responding to the news, Simon Cooke, CEO for Marie Stopes International, said: “We are grateful to DFID for its continued support for this vital and life-changing work. Thanks to this funding, we and our partners will be able to bring quality family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to millions of women in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities.

“For many of these women, the services funded through this programme will be their first opportunity to access any kind of contraception, enabling them to stay in education, forge a career, stay healthy and realise their hopes and dreams for the future.

“Expanding access to family planning services is one of the smartest investments countries can make for their future. Giving women and girls the ability to choose the size of their family creates healthier and more prosperous populations, allows women to contribute more fully to their communities, and supports stability and security.

“We welcome the UK Government’s leadership in this area, which will not only save thousands of women’s lives, but will also create the opportunities that drive countries’ wider economic and social development.”

The programme will build on Marie Stopes International’s previous DFID-funded work, expanding family planning services to countries in West Africa, where large numbers of women currently lack any access to contraception.

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