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Securing Funds for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Mexico
Although Mexico has one of the largest economies in Latin America, persistent inequality presents major challenges to development. With more than 50% of the country’s total income held by the wealthiest 20%, access to education, employment, and health services—particularly for youth—remains out of reach for millions. Compounding these challenges is the fact that young people are becoming sexually active at a younger age; however, only an estimated 25% of Mexican youth use contraception the first time they have sex.
For the first time in Mexico’s history, the government has earmarked a specific budget for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Importantly, accountability mechanisms are in place to monitor its implementation. Our Member Association, Mexican Family Planning Foundation (Mexfam), was instrumental in securing this victory. It was achieved through a series of strategic interventions:
Mexfam and its partners advocated for a national action plan for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The resulting plan, which aimed to ensure universal access to reproductive health and comprehensive sex education, includes state-level guidelines that have led to a substantial increase in sexual and reproductive health services for youth.
The Mexican Congress earmarked funds—$8 million in 2011, $15 million in 2012, and $11 million in 2013—for the state-level implementation of the adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy at a time when health and education budgets were being cut across the board. Mexfam secured a clause in the legislation that secured the funds and required state governments to report on their usage toward the program. Mexfam also continued to work at the state level to ensure the implementation of this youth policy as well as the proper use of funds.
Finally, Mexfam has reactivated accountability groups at the local and national level to monitor the implementation of the plan and the use of resources.