Impact of COVID-19 on Family Planning: What we know one year into the pandemic

Publication Date: March 2021
Author: UNFPA

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Ending the unmet need for family planning is one of three UNFPA transformative results driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. COVID-19, the fastest-moving global public health crisis in a century, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, threatens hard-won progress towards these global goals.

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging evidence points to smaller and shorter disruptions in family planning services than initially projected, largely concentrated in April and May 2020. This speaks to the resilience of health systems that continued to provide services, the impact of actions by partners to support access to reproductive health supplies and services and, in some contexts, the more limited spread of COVID-19 than some models initially forecast. However, disruptions remain a concern, and limited data and some inconsistencies across countries require ongoing monitoring and analysis. The severe social and economic impacts of COVID-19 demand intensified action for women and girls.

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