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Achieving the millennium development goals: The contribution of fulfilling unmet need for family planning

Scott Moreland, Constella Futures

Meeting unmet need for family planning can help countries achieve the MDGs by lowering their costs. A benefit-cost analysis was applied to 16 African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Analyses were included for five of the eight MDGs (universal primary education, child mortality, maternal health, environmental sustainability; and HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.). The costs of family planning and of meeting the five MDGs were estimated under two population scenarios. The additional costs of family planning was compared to the savings that family planning will generate in the selected MDG sectors. Overall, benefit-cost ratios ranged from 2.03 in Ethiopia to 6.22 in Senegal. Meeting unmet need can also help avert maternal, infant and child deaths. In Tanzania, 18,688 mothers’ lives could be saved. In Ethiopia and Nigeria, more than one million children’s lives would be saved.

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Presented in Session 25: Population growth and poverty linkages in Africa