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A half-day high level consultative meeting was held today to review Ethiopia’s progress on FP 2020 commitments. The meeting was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia in collaboration with partners including UNFPA under the theme “Acceleration of Action towards FP 2020 Goals in Ethiopia.” The consultative meeting was aimed at supporting current and upcoming efforts towards the achievement of the FP 2020 commitments and the universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health target of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health said the Ethiopian Government had included the commitments the country made in London at the Family Planning Summit in 2012 in the Growth and Transformation Plan and the Health Sector Transformation Plan to increase accessibility of family planning services remarkably. He highlighted on the need to increase quality family planning services with a special target on adolescents and youth calling on all stakeholders to lend their support in this endeavor.

H.E. Susanna Moorhead, British Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, said on her part on the occasion that family planning was about women’s empowerment and creating a better future for young people. She underscored the need to reenergize the London commitment and invest not only in supply but also in the system to make sure that women get family planning services. 

In his remarks on the occasion, Mr. Victor Rakoto, UNFPA Country Representative a.i. stated that enabling women to control the number and spacing of their children was essential to reducing maternal deaths. “Without new urgency and impetus, we won’t be able to meet both national and SDG targets,” he said signifying the need to step-up support on making family planning accessible to women in the bid to reduce maternal death. Mr. Victor indicated that UNFPA was planning to increase its programme resources to help the government buy family planning supplies.

Ethiopia is among the key focus countries for FP2020. The country has committed to increase its contraceptive prevalence rate to 55 % (currently 36 %) and add 6.2 million (currently 2.2 million) additional family planning users. Since 2012, when this commitment was made in London, the country has managed to avert 8 million unintended pregnancies, 2 million unsafe abortions and 20 thousand maternal deaths as a result of protection provided by modern contraceptive use.

Though much progress has been made, there is still long way to go to attain the country’s family planning goals. Achieving quality and equitable access to services with a focus on the young population, securing financial sustainability and improving access to a broad range of contraceptives through strengthening of supply chain management are key areas of focus for the years to come

The consultative meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, senior officials from the Federal Ministry of Health and other line Ministries, development partners and civil society organizations.