Family Planning / Reproductive Health
Fertility rates have declined more in the past 20 years than at any other time in the history of the world. In 1980, 84 low- and middle-income countries had total fertility rates of five or higher; in 2002 only 44 were in that category.
But the needs for FP/RH services are still vast. The developing world will add almost 93 million women of childbearing age between 2005 and 2010. Even without China, the growing numbers of women of reproductive age, combined with increasing desires for smaller families, means that there will be 71 million additional family planning users just in the next five years, an increase of 14.5 percent and more than the entire number of current contraceptive users in Latin America and the Caribbean. Significantly, youth aged 10-24 represent 30 percent of the population in the developing world. The behavior of this huge group of young people, with their high risk of HIV and unintended early pregnancies, will be a key determinant of the health and development of their countries in the coming decades.
Building on more than three decades of USAID support for policy work, the Health Policy Initiative is designed to improve the policy environment for a broad reproductive health agenda. Key focus areas are maximizing access and quality, FP/HIV integration, contraceptive security, gender, and poverty and health equity.