The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $100 million to support the Punjab Family Planning Programme in Pakistan. This initiative aims to improve the usage of family planning services in Punjab, which is home to over half of the country’s population.
The main goal of this program is to provide free and timely access to high-quality family planning services. It seeks to ensure that these services maintain consistent standards of care. Additionally, public information and advocacy campaigns will be conducted to raise awareness about the benefits of family planning.
Najy Benhassine, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, emphasized that the program’s primary objective is to achieve universal access to reproductive healthcare. By 2030, the program aims to increase the utilization of family planning services in Punjab to 60%. This is seen as crucial for Pakistan’s development, as rapid population growth hinders progress, impedes the accumulation of human capital, and perpetuates poverty.
To achieve its goals, the program will expand successful innovations that have shown positive results in various districts of Punjab. These include clinical franchising, voucher schemes, and family planning counseling through community leaders. A network of healthcare workers, including lady health workers, family welfare workers, community health workers, and healthcare facilities, will be leveraged to reach underserved areas with limited access to family planning services.