Developing Countries: Family Planning

International Development written question – answered on 30th November 2009.

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Photo of Chris McCafferty Chris McCafferty Labour, Calder Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development

(1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that family planning and safe abortion services are included in essential health packages of countries to which his Department provides assistance;

(2) which Country Strategy Papers prepared by his Department refer to (a) sexual and reproductive health and rights, (b) family planning and (c) abortion.

Photo of Michael Foster Michael Foster Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for International Development

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), including family planning and safe abortion services, are key to the provision of essential health care. The Department for International Development (DFID) works through a number of formal and informal processes to ensure that these essential health outcomes are addressed both in policy and implementation. Examples of DFID's work include:

Direct contributions to the health budgets of our partner countries as well as sector-wide programmes. Improving access to family planning is a key part of policy dialogue and bilateral programme support in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Supporting action to improve access to safe abortion (as outlined in our recent policy paper on safe and unsafe abortion) through different mechanisms depending on the legal framework and political sensitivity in country.

Supporting regional and multilateral programmes to improve access to safe abortion and other services in Africa such as UNFPA's Global Programme for Reproductive Health Commodity Security to which with DFID has committed £100 million over a five year period.

All DFID country programmes which spend more than £20 million per year are required to produce and publish country plans. These are available via the DFID website. Of the 15 reports currently available 12 refer to SRHR or a key element of SRHR (maternal health, family planning or HIV prevention) and the remaining three make reference to efforts to improve basic health care services.

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