Family Planning and Reproductive Health

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  • USAID Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

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  • For over 50 years, USAID has worked in priority countries around the globe to increase access to voluntary family planning information and services.

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  • Family planning is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • USAID works to advance reproductive health for women and girls worldwide.

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) advances and supports voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs in nearly 40 countries across the globe. Greater access to family planning information and services can help:


  • Reduce Maternal Deaths by 30% Annually
  • Save 1.4 Million Children Under 5 each Year
  • Save $6 for every $1 Invested
  • Achieve 17 Global Goals by 2030

Benefits of Family Planning

Icon of a Mom and BabyProtects the health of women and children by reducing high-risk pregnancies and allowing sufficient time between pregnancies

Icon of a familyAdvances and secures reproductive rights by empowering individuals and couples to freely choose their family size

Icon of graduation capImproves women's opportunities for education, employment and full participation in society

Icon of a arrow pointing up with a dollar signReduces poverty by contributing to economic growth at the family, community and national levels

Icon of a stethoscopeDecreases unsafe abortion and the need for abortion altogether

Icon of three people in a circleMitigates the impact of population dynamics on natural resources and state stability

Icon of a red AIDS ribbonReduces HIV and AIDS through the prevention of new HIV infections and mother-to-child transmission via increased access to information, counseling and condoms and reducing unintended pregnancies

Almost 880 million women worldwide wish to avoid or delay pregnancy, and 74 percent of these women are currently using a modern contraceptive method. Yet, more than 225 million women still have an unmet need for family planning.

When a woman bears children too closely together, too early or too late in life, the health of the mother and baby are at risk. Enabling couples and individuals to determine whether, when and how often to have children is vital to safe motherhood, healthy families and prosperous communities.

Our Work

As the world's largest family planning bilateral donor, USAID is committed to helping countries meet the family planning and reproductive health needs of their people. USAID supports Family Planning 2020's goal to reach 120 million more women and girls in the world's poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, contraceptives, and services by 2020.

Since the launch of USAID's family planning program in 1965, families are better able to feed, clothe, educate and provide healthcare for their children. Moreover, modern contraceptive use in the 27 countries with the largest USAID-supported programs has increased from under 10 percent to 37 percent, and the number of children per family has dropped from more than 6 to 4.5. USAID's work in reproductive health also focuses on ending child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, gender-based violence and more.

Follow USAID's work in family planning through an interactive timeline marking some of our major milestones over the past 50 years.


Key Objectives of USAID's Family Planning Program:

  • Leadership in policy, information and services
  • Field-driven program design and implementation
  • Comprehensive technical support
  • Advancement of research and innovation
  • High-impact partnerships

Demand for Family Planning Satisfied by Modern Contraceptive Methods in USAID’s Family Planning Priority Countries

Demand satisfied pertains to the percentage of women who are using modern contraception among all women who want to avoid pregnancy.


Note: Demand satisfied is measured among women of reproductive age (15–49) and is generally measured for women in-union (married or living with a partner) rather than all women due to data availability limitations for women not in-union. USAID has 24 family planning priority countries. Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data from 22 priority countries are presented here. Of the two remaining priority countries, South Sudan has not conducted a DHS and Afghanistan is in the process of completing its first DHS.


Data Sources:



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Last updated: March 09, 2017

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