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Family planning is central to gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment, and it is a key factor in reducing poverty. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) recognized “the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice.” UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, supports voluntary family planning, including procuring contraceptives, supply chain management, and training health professionals to accurately and sensitively counsel individuals about their family planning options. A holistic and sustainable approach to family planning is essential to ensure that family planning needs are met, every individual can choose their preferred method, and most importantly to reduce maternal and child mortality.
It is for these reasons that UNFPA’s Regional Office for the Arab states launched a call for the country offices to seek promising family planning programmes and good practices that could be scaled-up in other countries in the region. From the submitted initiatives, four were selected to be documented and shared with relevant stakeholders.