8 Apr 2009

Donors urged to maintain Pacific family planning support

12:54 pm on 8 April 2009

Family Planning International is urging Pacific Island governments and donor countries not to cut back on funding for sexual health programmes during the global economic recession.

The organisation works with partners in nine Pacific countries.

Its manager Joanna Spratt says major issues they face in the region include the HIV epidemic in Papua New Guinea, and high rates of deaths of mothers in childbirth, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended teenage pregnancies.

She says it's hard to determine whether Pacific countries are already reducing spending on sexual and reproductive health, but it's vital that funding levels be maintained.

"My message would be that now is not the time to stop investing in your most valuable resource which is your people, and investing in sexual and reproductive health can support your people to be the best they can be and contribute to economic development and making sure that your country makes it through this crisis as best as it can."

Family Planning International Manager Joanna Spratt