Bayer contributes $4.3 million to ensure contraceptive access for tens of thousands of women in developing countries

09 Jul 2021

Bayer, the global life science company specializing in health care and nutrition, is donating US$0.5 million and over $3.8 million in products to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership, which seeks to secure the essential contraceptive supplies and maternal health medicines required by millions of women and adolescent girls over the next decade. This contribution will generate health-care savings in the amount of $10.5 million and will enable interventions to uphold the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, including those who have been marginalized or left behind.

Bayer’s contribution will help prevent almost 215,000 unintended pregnancies, 5,000 maternal and child deaths, and over 58,000 unsafe abortions in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
The UNFPA Supplies Partnership provides more than a billion contraceptives each year, as well as technical expertise and capacity-building to ensure these essential supplies reach the hands of those who need them most. Through voluntary family planning programmes, millions of women, adolescent girls and couples are empowered to prevent unintended pregnancies, averting tens of thousands of maternal deaths and helping lift families out of poverty.
"Every woman and every adolescent girl should be able to count on access to and availability of information, services and supplies to protect her sexual and reproductive health and rights. We know that investing in women and girls' health and empowering them to take charge of their bodies and lives is crucial to building resilient communities and achieving gender equality and sustainable development," said Mariarosa Cutillo, Chief of UNFPA’s Strategic Partnerships Branch. "The support from Bayer is much welcome at this critical time, and is a great example of the private sector taking a leading role in supporting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls and those left behind.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the work of the UNFPA Supplies Partnership even more difficult and necessary. 

“Empowering women is the most straightforward way to help more people thrive. The pandemic has deepened inequalities across the globe, which means that partnerships and international solidarity are imperative. At the 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, Bayer committed to reaching 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with contraception by 2030. We stand by this commitment, and now is the time for even stronger partnerships among the private, public and philanthropic supporters of rights-based family planning. This is fundamental for success in the post-COVID era,’’ says Claus Runge, Head of Market Access, Public Affairs & Sustainability at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. 

The partnership between UNFPA and Bayer has identified concrete ways to reach the most vulnerable in some of the most challenging, crisis-ridden parts of the world. Bayer also worked with UNFPA to solve urgent supply-chain problems, and has played a key role in enabling UNFPA to overcome bottlenecks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, upholding women’s continued access to contraception and life-saving medical supplies.

About the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25:
The 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 was held by UNFPA and the governments of Kenya and Denmark on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, where 179 governments adopted a landmark Programme of Action which set out to empower women and girls for their sake, and for the benefit of their families, communities and nations.

The Summit brought together stakeholders from across the world to mobilize the political will and financial commitments urgently needed to finally and fully implement the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments were centred around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

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