Funding, Politics, Policies
ICPD Cairo 1994, UNFPA
Last week the 46th session of the Commission on Population and Development concluded at U.N. headquarters. 45 member nations participated. The five-day session was described as fraught with tension and disagreement because most of the states were "concerned about the economic implications of migration, looking at the effects of remittances," said Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, chief executive of leading Pakistani NGO Awaz Foundation. He said the connection between health and migration was frequently overlooked. "Many member states are less interested in highlighting issues related to particularly HIV/AIDS and overall sexual and reproductive health rights and gender identity issues and how these can particularly affect migrants," he continued.
The global remittance flows of migration were an estimated $534 billion in 2012, although the U.N. estimates that twice this amount could have been transferred informally.
In October a high-level dialogue on migration and development will be held that will help lay the foundation for how migration will be incorporated into the post-2015 agenda.
The number of internagional migrants reached 214 million in 2010, up from 155 million in 1990, according to U.N. figures.
About half of today's international migrants are women, an extremely vulnerable group, unlikely to receive access to the social and health protections that they need from gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Enabling women to control the number and spacing of their children is essential to reducing maternal deaths and human misery.
Over 200 million women, mostly in the least developed countries, want to use modern family planning methods but can't access them, facing cultural barriers or family resistance, or not having access to contraceptives, or there is a lack of information or trained workers to give advice.
In London in July a family planning summit is being co-hosted by the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where an initiative will be planned to tackle the estimated $3.6bn (£2.3bn) annual shortfall in investment. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is supporting the initiative so that it can gain traction and support among other donors and UN member countries.
The summit's aim is to mobilise the political will and extra resources needed to give 120 million more women access to family planning by 2020. This ambitious target is one that is desperately needed. Hundreds of thousands of women continue to die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Without new urgency and impetus, many developing countries will not only fail to meet the MDG target to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by 2015 but for decades to come. This would be a betrayal of the most vulnerable people and communities on our planet and an affront to our sense of justice.
For every mother who dies, 20 more suffer from chronic ill health and disability. Uncontrolled pregnancy has a much wider impact on the life chances of women and their children - and the health and strength of their communities.