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Opinions: Future Of PEPFAR; Family Planning

Washington Post Editorial Examines Future Of PEPFAR

A Washington Post editorial examines the future of PEPFAR under the Obama administration, as outlined in a five-year strategy released earlier this month. Though “[m]any organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, continue to worry that Mr. Obama is ‘flat-lining’ funding for the vital program,” this “ignores Mr. Obama’s move to make PEPFAR the center of a larger $63 billion global health initiative to develop more comprehensive and integrated approaches to care,” the editorial writes. “To that end, PEPFAR 2 has three pillars: prevention, integration and improved health-care systems in the 15 participating countries…”

“Ultimately, the goal is to shift to a partnership, with the PEPFAR country taking ownership of the program’s oversight. And the targets for PEPFAR 2 are ambitious,” the editorial continues. “The financial resources are there to do it. What’s needed is the active participation and leadership of PEPFAR countries to make it happen” (12/13).

Access To Family Planning Could Help Offset Carbon Emissions

In Copenhagen, “[c]ountries are wrangling over everything about human-induced climate change except the increasing number of humans inducing it,” columnist Ellen Goodman writes in a Boston Globe opinion piece arguing that the U.N. climate change conference is overlooking family planning’s potential role in mitigating the effects of climate change. She writes that “ever since the 1994 U.N. conference on population, international family planning policy has been focused on enabling women and men to make their own decisions. We’ve learned about the direct relationship between education and economic opportunities for women and smaller, later, healthier families.”

“Today … there are still hundreds of millions of married women who don’t have access to services or information,” Goodman writes. “There are nearly 7 billion people in the world today. Scientists project 9.5 billion people by 2050. In fact, there could be 8.5 billion or 10.5 billion. Depending on what we do.” Goodman concludes: “What if we can lighten the burden on the planet while widening the chances for women? That’s my kind of offset” (12/11).