'Family planning must be a priority'

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Nov 14 2012, 07:17:37

Family planning a human right and sound economic investment as number of young people in developing countries surges

Access to family planning is a human right and a sound economic investment at a time when the number of young people in developing countries has reached an all-time high, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The latest State of the World Population report makes the case for additional spending on family planning in poor countries, claiming it would save more than $11.3bn (£7.1bn) a year on maternal and newborn health. Despite the economic benefits of family planning, the report said donor and government support for sexual and reproductive health has been shrinking in past years, as nearly 2 billion people reach reproductive age.

The report says young people's needs remain largely neglected, with the consequence that the largest generation of young people in history is unable to fully exercise reproductive rights and prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the likelihood of dropping out of school or protect itself from sexually transmitted diseases.

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