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Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces New Collaboration on Groundbreaking Global Family Planning Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced its commitment to a new global family planning partnership, and will contribute $50 million to a groundbreaking global initiative to extend family planning services to 120 million women in the poorest countries by 2020.

The announcement was made today at the London Summit on Family Planning, co-hosted by the British Government’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Making affordable contraceptive information, services, and supplies available to an additional 120 million women and girls by 2020 will save 200,000 lives that would have been lost to pregnancy or childbirth,” said Michael R. Bloomberg . “No one has worked harder to set this initiative in motion than the remarkable Melinda Gates . This effort will make an enormous difference.”In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today a $50 million contribution to a new global effort to improve access to family planning services for women around the world, particularly in the poorest nations where care is most needed.

This groundbreaking family planning partnership, which will include national governments, donors, non-profits, the private sector, the research and development communities, and others, was launched today to make affordable and lifesaving contraceptive information, services, and supplies available to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.There are over 200 million women and girls in developing countries who want to delay, space or avoid becoming pregnant but do not have access to or are not using effective methods of contraception. The result is over 75 million unintended pregnancies every year.

These unintended pregnancies put women and girls at serious risk of death or disability during pregnancy and childbirth particularly where quality of care is inadequate or worse, unavailable.

Participation in this new family planning initiative is also another example of Bloomberg Philanthropies efforts to improve maternal and child health globally. Since 2006, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been supporting a life-saving initiative in Tanzania working with partners including the World Lung Foundation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, this initiative has led to the training of more than 100 non-physician health workers in emergency obstetric care and the upgrading of remote health centers. The result has been improved pregnancy outcomes in the region.

This is the second major partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The first, announced in 2008, is a partnership to reduce tobacco use in low and middle-income countries. Bloomberg Philanthropies has dedicated $600 million to these worldwide efforts.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works primarily to advance five areas globally: the Arts, Education, the Environment, Government Innovation, which includes the Mayors Challenge, and Public Health. In 2011, $330 million was distributed.