Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Funding family planning in Africa sound investment

Investing in family planning in developing countries brings many benefits, according to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which this Wednesday published its State of World Population 2012 report, ‘By Choice, Not By Chance.’

Foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen said the report shows why the Netherlands should continue to invest in sexual health ‘primarily because it is the right of all men, women and adolescents. They must have the freedom and resources to make their own choices about how many children they want. But the report also shows that it is a sound investment in many ways. It combats poverty, exclusion and gender inequality, and it leads to healthy, prosperous families who can contribute to economic growth.’


Sexual health is one of four priorities of the Netherlands’ development policy. According to UNFPA, 222 million women in developing countries have no access to contraception. They have no choice. An annual extra investment of €3.2 billion would enable everyone in developing countries to make their own choices about having children — which is, after all, a basic human right. It would also mean an annual saving of €8.9 billion in health care in these countries.