It is a pleasure to write and share with you FP2030’s updates this month, as I take on the role of Interim Executive Director following Beth Schlachter’s departure at the end of April and ahead of the arrival of FP2030’s new Executive Director later this year. Beth’s great leadership over the past seven years has truly set us on a course to a successful FP2030 partnership. The transition to our new structure is well under way, led by the Transition Oversight Group, with the FP2030 secretariat and the Transition Management Team hard at work bringing it all together.
We have been energized as we hear from partners around the world who are in the process of developing their FP2030 commitments. Governments are collaborating with civil society and youth organizations to shape national commitments using many of the resources in the FP2030 commitments toolkit to guide their discussions. If your organization is considering making a commitment, the toolkit will walk you through the steps and underlying principles, with links to key resources to inform your commitment.
Making a commitment to expand the use of family planning in the midst of a pandemic poses particular challenges. FP2030 focal points discuss how they have continued to advocate for resources for family planning — and indeed, how they have identified ways to support the COVID-19 prevention and vaccination efforts — in a new video series. Beverly Nkirote shines a light on the challenges of protecting access to family planning, part of a new podcast series produced by FP2030 and Knowledge Success, Inside the FP Story.
This year has again reminded us all how resilient the family planning community truly is, innovating in the face of supply cuts and closed health services. Being prepared to continue family planning services during a crisis will help to protect the lives and health of women and girls and is a key element of the work we must all do to ensure an equitable recovery. This is why we are encouraging commitment makers to incorporate emergency preparedness into their commitments. In a recent meeting with the Ouagadougou Partnership, country representatives shared how they have protected family planning access during recent challenges, from the pandemic to political unrest and weather crises.
Sadly, we know that the family planning community, along with the broader global health community, will be feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for some time. Since late April, we have been learning about how the UK will be implementing cuts to its humanitarian aid. UNFPA, IPPF, and MSI Reproductive Choices have taken massive hits to their flagship programs, and we anticipate there may be more funding challenges ahead, including pressure on domestic family planning funds. The strength of our community to shift resources and find solutions will be more important than ever, as we navigate the months ahead.
Yours in partnership and solidarity,
Interim Executive Director