Help for Family Planning

The New York Times | July 15, 2009

To the Editor:

Re “Would You Let This Girl Drown?” (column, July 9)

I wholeheartedly agree with Nicholas D. Kristof that we should focus on successes when seeking support for humanitarian causes.

Significant achievements have been made in the area of family planning, for example, which over recent decades have led to improved living standards and greater opportunities for education and economic growth. And while it has been demonstrated that family planning is highly cost-effective, donor interest has not always kept pace.

Clearly, there is an urgent need for greater assistance to family planning programs in the developing world. But given that investments in family planning have already proved to be a powerful health intervention, saving millions of women’s lives and spurring economic development, targeting donor audiences should focus on scaling up such lifesaving interventions.

Carmen Barroso
Regional Director
International Planned Parenthood Federation/
Western Hemisphere Region
New York, July 10, 2009

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