IPPF welcomes funding support from Australia for Asia Pacific COVID-19 SRHR Initiative

woman receiving an implant

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is delighted to announce a new collaboration with MSI Reproductive Choices for the Asia Pacific. Funded by the Australian Government, the two organizations will deliver a two-year program, Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery Mechanisms (RESPOND).

The AU $33.4 million initiative, commencing July 2021 and running to the middle of 2023, will support IPPF Member Associations and MSI Country Programs to respond to the additional sexual and reproductive health needs of communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 22 countries.

IPPF’s Director General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, welcomed the news:

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in many countries across the Asia-Pacific, especially on the lives of women and girls, who have been disproportionately affected by the uneven burden of caring responsibilities, increases in gender-based violence, and reduced access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.  

“If the world is to build back better after the coronavirus pandemic and achieve greater gender equality, high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare must form an essential part of any effort. It is fantastic to work with a long-standing partner like DFAT that recognises this. 

“We are immensely grateful for the Australian government’s unwavering support so that IPPF, alongside our partners at MSI Reproductive Choices,  can continue providing life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare both during the pandemic and beyond.”

Simon Cooke, CEO at MSI Reproductive Choices, said: 

“Giving women and girls the power to make reproductive choices is one of the smartest global investments, costing less than 2 pence per day to protect a young woman from an unintended pregnancy, giving her the chance to stay in school, forge a career, or even save her life.

“However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of women and girls around the world have had access to sexual and reproductive health and rights stripped as these essential services have been deprioritised. When women are faced with crises, the need for reproductive choice has been shown to rise, at the very time that access falls.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with DFAT and IPPF to protect access to life changing and life-saving services when they are needed most and are grateful to the Australian government for their leadership in prioritising this within their Covid-19 response.”