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India: Family Planning

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of India on population control policies. (204370)

I have been asked to reply.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has had discussions with officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India on population issues in the context of the Reproductive and Child Health Programme (RCH-2), to which DFID contributes. DFID has committed £252 million to the programme from 2005 to 2011.

RCH-2, launched in April 2005, is the Government of India’s key programme to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for reducing maternal and child mortality. The programme seeks to expand the range of information and services available on contraception, particularly to the poorest populations. The programme will increase access to reversible methods of contraception, which will allow young women to delay childbearing and all women to have a longer interval between births. This will improve the health of children as well as mothers.

The most recent joint government and donor review of this programme took place in February 2008. The review found that there has been an increase in the provision of family planning, and particularly of reversible methods of contraception.