New Fund Supports Faith-Based Advocacy for Family Planning
A new $1 million fund is helping faith-based family planning advocates improve contraceptive access in their countries. The fund, called Faith Plus Family Planning, is an initiative of PAI. The fund provides faith-based organizations in the developing world with small grants and technical support to partner with governments on providing quality family planning and reproductive health services.
An estimated 225 million women in developing countries want to delay or prevent pregnancy but are not using modern contraception. In many of these countries, faith-based organizations are key healthcare providers and advocates, delivering a significant proportion of primary health care services, including reproductive, maternal and newborn care. In sub-Saharan Africa, faith-based organizations provide as much as 40 percent of health services. These organizations also hold a special place in their societies, bringing credibility and moral authority to policy discussions. Yet, they frequently lack adequate support and investment—especially as vocal advocates for family planning. Faith Plus Family Planning aims to rectify this imbalance:
“While the conversation in the United States around faith and contraception is increasingly polarized, the fact is women of faith want and use birth control,” said PAI President and CEO Suzanne Ehlers.
“We have been inspired by our faith-based partners in places like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, who see the critical importance of these issues to women’s health and well-being.”
Peter Munene, international program coordinator of the Faith to Action Network in Kenya, described the fund as necessary: “Faith groups are already at the heart of their communities, but we often lack resources. This fund will help us turn our expertise into real action.”
By 2018, Faith Plus Family Planning expects to mobilize new funding and increase global and national commitments to family planning. The fund is now accepting applications. For more information, visit http://www.pai.org/faith.
PAI champions policies that put women in charge of their reproductive health. We work with policymakers in Washington and our network of partners in developing countries to remove roadblocks between women and the services and supplies they need. For 50 years, we’ve helped women succeed by upholding their basic rights. To learn more, visit pai.org.