Today, Bill Gates published his annual letter, which this year focuses on improving the lives of the poorest of the poor through innovations in agriculture and promoting global health issues, including vaccines, polio, HIV/AIDS, and family planning.
On family planning, Gates writes:
Globally, more than 200 million women say they don’t want to have a child within the next two years but aren’t using contraceptives. If families that wanted to wait a longer period between births or have fewer children had access to the right tools, two things would happen. First, those families would have an easier time facing the challenges of poverty. Second, as national population growth rates came down gradually, governments would be able to better meet the needs of all their people.
A significant number of women indicate that they would use modern family planning tools if they were available. Unfortunately, the funding to buy these tools, to make them cheaper, and to provide high-quality information to poor families has been lacking.