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At Summit, Global Leaders Recommit To Family Planning

Jul 11, 2017 03:30 pm

Melinda Gates: Profile

At least 37 country governments, 16 private companies and 11 partner organizations, including civil society and private foundations, will announce commitments to accelerate progress on rights-based family planning programmes today at the Family Planning Summit.

The Family Planning Summit is co-hosted by the UK Government, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in close partnership with the Family Planning 2020 Secretariat (FP2020). In parallel with the Summit in London, more than 2500 people will gather at 21 satellite events across Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uganda, demonstrating growing country leadership and support for family planning.

The Summit will build on progress made since the Family Planning Summit in 2012 and will reaffirm international political support for women and girls to be able to decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have. It will address barriers to progress that are common across many countries, with a wide range of policy and programme commitments to ensure the money invested in family planning goes further.

Financial commitments to be announced at the Summit are expected to total at least $2.5billion USD (£1.9billion GBP) by 2020. The majority of the funding – $1.5billion USD (£1.16billion GBP) – has been committed by countries in Asia and Africa. Many of FP2020’s 38 partner countries, ranging from Bangladesh and Burkina Faso to India, Indonesia and Uganda, will make renewed commitments to accelerate family planning progress, and four new countries will join the FP2020 partnership.

The full breadth of expected Summit commitments from country governments, donors, private sector, civil society and foundations can be found here.

Commitments will seek to deliver family planning to all who need it, especially adolescents, women and girls in humanitarian crises and the hard to reach. Highlights of the commitments made include:
• A Bridge Funding Mechanism to enable UNFPA Supplies, the world’s largest provider of contraceptives, to provide countries with the family planning commodities they need as efficiently as possible. The Funding Mechanism is expected to speed up the procurement process, lower the cost of contraceptives, and ultimately reduce up to 50 per cent of UNFPA-related contraceptive stock-outs-delivering better results for countries, donors, and the women and families they serve.
• A supply chain Visibility Analytics Network (VAN), a global platform to capture and use data from multiple sources to provide enhanced visibility into contraceptive supply chains. By partnering with private sector logistics experts and using smart-phone technology, the network will improve countries’ ability to know what contraceptives are in stock, where and how much – and to respond to stock-outs more efficiently. In two years’ time, we anticipate that this Network will be up and running in at least 12 countries.
• Countries, donors, civil society and private foundations will pledge to collect, use, and disseminate age- and sex-disaggregated data. With improved data, governments, charities and others will be better able to design and assess programmes that more effectively meet the needs of adolescents.
• Ten private sector organisations from outside the health and pharmaceutical sector, including the Chaudhary Foundation, Twinings, Tata Trusts, Spark Minda, MTVStaying Alive Foundation, Lindex, Vodafone, CARD MRINST and Reckitt Benckiser, will make commitments that expand access to contraceptives, improve supply chains, or market and deliver family planning services to their employees. These will include commitments to reach more women and girls, including through their networks, assets, and expertise-from supply chains to microfinance networks to media channels.

The Family Planning Summit takes place on the five-year anniversary of the inaugural London Summit on Family Planning when world leaders set a goal to empower 120 million additional women and girls in the 69 lowest income countries to use modern contraception by 2020, and a new partnership was launched: Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). Since then, 30 million additional women and girls have begun using modern contraceptives – bringing the total to a record 300 million users across the 69 countries. As a result, last year more than 82 million pregnancies, 25 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths were averted.

The Summit will feature commentary by government representatives from around the world, the United Nations, foundations, the private sector, civil society and youth advocates from eight countries.

Priti Patel, UK International Development Secretary, said: “Family planning has the power to change a whole country’s trajectory and help lift people out of grinding poverty. It gives women choice over if, and when, to have a family and makes real economic sense. Britain is leading the world on sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights, and we have helped 8.5 million more women make an informed choice about using desperately-needed family planning services since 2012. Today’s Summit with our international partners is an exciting and important opportunity to work together to empower millions more women and girls to take control of their own lives, address unsustainable population growth and boost global prosperity.”

Dr Natalia Kanem, Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said: “Together we must keep our promise to leave no woman behind. Even though family planning is one of the best investments for development and women’s empowerment, 214 million women in developing countries who want family planning still lack access to modern contraception. To meet our common goal of reaching 120 million more women and girls by 2020, we must strengthen partnerships and mobilize more funding. As we strive to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, we are committed to getting to zero unmet need for family planning by 2030 to ensure a better future for all.”

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “Access to contraceptives changes everything. Women are freer to work outside the home, earn an income, and contribute to the economy. Mothers and fathers can devote more resources to their kids’ health and education-setting them up for a more productive future. Multiply that by millions of families, and you see why contraceptives are one of the greatest antipoverty innovations the world has ever known-and one of the smartest investments countries can make. Through the new commitments expected today at the Family Planning Summit, we have made a bold statement that investing in family planning is crucial to building the healthier and more prosperous future we’re all working towards.”

Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020, said: “We are guided by the urgency of knowing that our work affects the lives and futures of women every day. The Summit is a chance to evaluate our progress on family planning, and re-dedicate ourselves to bringing this life-saving intervention to all that need and want it.”

Oxfam Celebrates 15 Years Working With Coldplay

Jul 11, 2017 01:30 pm

Coldplay: Profile

The 2017 leg of Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ tour, which comes to the U.S. on August 1st, marks 15 years of Oxfam working with Coldplay.

In that time, over 60,000 Coldplay fans have signed up to support Oxfam campaigns to highlight unfair trade practices and the plight of refugees.

Chris Martin said: “As a band, we’re really proud to have had Oxfam on the road with us for the past fifteen years. It’s given our incredible fans the chance to show their support for campaigns from Make Trade Fair to supporting refugees.”

Coldplay has been among Oxfam’s most high profile and vocal supporters, using their worldwide success to help Oxfam campaign on all five of their tours in over 50 countries. Front man Chris Martin first travelled with Oxfam in 2002 to Haiti. Since then he’s visited coffee farmers and projects in India.

Oxfam first joined Coldplay on their 2003 ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ tour, then the 2005 ‘Twisted Logic’ tour, their mammoth ‘Viva La Vida’ world tour in 2008/9 and again at their ‘Mylo Xyloto’ tour in 2012. During that time, thousands of volunteers have been recruited in each country to talk to fans at the concerts.

In 2016 Oxfam campaigners launched the Stand as One campaign to highlight the need to help and protect people forced to flee conflict and disaster. So far 32,000 Coldplay concert goers have signed up to the campaign.

Rachel Edwards, Oxfam’s on tour coordinator said: “The tour is really important in creating a global movement of Coldplay fans from the Philippines to the UK who are standing with refugees and demanding that world leaders do more. More than 65 million people have been forced to leave their homes through no fault of their own, and it’s fantastic to see how the people we meet on the tour want to support our campaign for change.”

A few volunteer spots remain for music fans who’d like to join Oxfam and Coldplay at shows on this tour. Go to www.oxfamamerica.org/coldplay to apply.

Sam Waterston And Lily Tomlin To Be Honored At Oceana SeaChange Summer Party

Jul 11, 2017 12:00 pm

Sam Waterston: Profile

Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation, will host the 10th annual SeaChange Summer Party.

This year’s SeaChange Summer Party honors Sam Waterstonand Lily Tomlin for their support of Oceana and work as advocates for the oceans.

Ted Danson will attend and emcee the evening. Confirmed guests include Alison PillAngela Kinsey, Sally Pressman, Oscar Nunez, Briana Evigan and Brett Dier.

The event will include a world-class auction and cocktail reception, followed by a gourmet seated dinner and exciting live auction and program. The night will end with the SeaChange Post-Party Lounge, where guests can dance under the stars. To learn more, click here.

George W. Bush And Bill Clinton To Participate In Conversation On Leadership

Jul 11, 2017 10:30 am

George W. Bush: Profile

On July 13, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton will participate in a conversation focused on leadership moderated by financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

The event is part of the graduation ceremony for 60 members of the 2017 Class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program.

The PLS program is a unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton and George W. Bush. Since its inception in 2015, 181 Scholars have gained greater inspiration and a stronger sense of purpose as leaders through their participation in the program.

The third class of 60 Scholars was selected during a rigorous process that began with more than 400 applications. Scholars were selected based on their leadership growth potential and the strength of their personal leadership projects aimed at improving the civic or social good by addressing a problem or need in a community, profession or organization.

WHEN:
Thursday, July 13, 2017
5:00 p.m.

The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program is designed for leaders from varied backgrounds who share a commitment to facing society’s greatest challenges. The program seeks participants who have the desire and capacity to take their leadership strengths to a higher level in order to help their communities and emboldens them with the practical skills needed to drive solution-oriented action. By including a roster of presidential centers – two Republican and two Democratic –the program creates a rare opportunity to instill in Scholars a brand of principled leadership that transcends diverse backgrounds.

Through the PLS program curriculum, participants have connected with some of the best minds in the study of leadership and benefited from the assets of the participating presidential centers and insights of the former presidents and people who served with them. In addition to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, throughout the three years of the program Scholars also have had the opportunity to hear from speakers such as former First Lady Laura W. Bush; the Right Honourable Tony Blair; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senator Rob Portman; Governor Terry McAuliffe; former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; former Secretaries of Commerce Don Evans and Carlos Gutierrez; former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman; former Secretaries of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and Sylvia Mathews Burwell; former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings; former Chiefs of Staff Joshua Bolten, Erskine Bowles, Andrew Card, Mack McLarty, John Podesta, and John Sununu; former Counselor to the President Larry Temple; and more.

During the program, Scholars work on a personal leadership project, intended to provide them with the opportunity to both apply the skills and competencies learned throughout the program and help achieve the program’s ultimate desired outcome of increasing social good. The Scholars have expanded the outreach and impact of their projects, including efforts to improve our nation’s schools, support transitioning members of the military, bring poverty relief to communities around the globe, and implement practical business solutions to enhance public and private partnerships; by leveraging their existing knowledge and experience with the skills and competencies learned throughout the program.

 

Malala’s Last Day Of School

Jul 11, 2017 09:00 am

Malala Yousafzai: Profile

Malala Yousafzai graduated from secondary school last week, and blogged about the experience.

“I enjoyed my school years and I am excited for my future,” she wrote. “But I can’t help thinking of millions of girls around the world who won’t complete their education.

“I was almost one of those girls. The Taliban took over our beautiful home in Swat Valley and declared a ban on girls’ education. Our teachers told us to stop wearing our uniforms because it wasn’t safe. Every day I wondered if this would be my last day of school.

“Then came the day I dreaded most. I could no longer go to school. When my family fled our home, I worried I was leaving behind more than books and pens — I feared I was leaving behind my dreams for the future .

“I have often said that I share my story not because it is unique — but because it is not. The fear I had then is still felt today by 130 million out-of-school girls around the world.

“I was able to continue my education when the situation in my hometown got better, but I will never forget how it felt to have my future taken away from me.

“I promise to keep fighting until the day that every girl can put on her uniform, pack up her books and walk to school without fear.”

Video Spotlight: Shakira Calls for Education for All Children at Global Citizen Festival Hamburg

Jul 11, 2017 07:30 am
Singer-songwriter Shakira takes the stage at the Global Citizen Festival Hamburg on July 6 to call on G20 countries to fund education for all children in the world. 263 millions kids around the world can’t access education. An annual investment of $10 billion would change that.

Shakira Calls for Education for All Children at Global Citizen Festival Hamburg

Spotlight: Eddie Izzard’s Charity Work

Jul 11, 2017 07:00 am

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard participated in the campaign of celebrities raising voices to build one million in support for Burma.

He gave a donation to help British veterans of the Second World War travel to Normandy in June 2009 for the 65th anniversary memorial event. Eddie attended the event, joining the parade, and was among those who laid wreaths. (source: Daily Mail)

Also in 2009, Izzard ran over 1000 miles to support Sport Relief.

Read more about Eddie Izzard’s charity work and events.

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