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International Planned Parenthood Federation Expands Programs With $1.7 Million Gift From Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports programs for impoverished people in Latin America and the Caribbean

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Matilde Romanowski
Phone: 212.214.0298

NEW YORK -- It was announced that the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region, Inc. announced today that it has received a $1,730,000 gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant money has made it possible for International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region, Inc. (IPPF/WHR) to implement programs that are vital to the wellbeing of impoverished children, youth, women and men in Latin America and the Caribbean. The gift from the Foundation is being used to support three programs: the South-North Adolescent Partnership; the Project to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Latin America; and Brothers for Change.

The South-North Partnership on Adolescent Reproductive Health is an innovative approach to educating youth on the sensitive issue of sexual and reproductive health. The South-North Partnership fosters the collaboration and sharing of program models for working with young people between IPPF/WHR affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean and organizations in the United States.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently funding four partnerships which include:

1. The Peruvian Institute of Responsible Fatherhood (INPPARES) in Lima, Peru and the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Washington, D.C.
2. The Salvadoran Demographic Association (ADS) in San Salvador and Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona
3. Jamaica Family Planning Association (JFPA) in St. Ann and Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, New York
4. PROFAMILIA in Dominican Republic and Columbia University Center for Population and Family Health in New York City.
The success of the partnerships has led IPPF/WHR to seek additional South-North youth collaborations in the region.

One of the priorities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to improve the health of women in the developing countries. The Project to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Latin America, created for this purpose, is partially funded by the Gates Foundation. Gender-based violence (GBV) is both a human rights violation and a public health problem. Although few reliable estimates of the magnitude of the problem are available for Latin American countries, isolated figures serve to remind us of the burden of gender-based violence in this region. The overall goal of the project is to improve the situation of gender-based violence victims in the area and to break the silence that surrounds this important health problem in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project is being implemented in three countries through IPPF/WHR's affiliate Family Planning Associations (FPAs). The strategy is to address gender-based violence within the existing sexual and reproductive health services of PROFAMILIA in the Dominican Republic, INPPARES in Peru and PLAFAM in Venezuela. Thus the first step in addressing the problem is training health care providers on how to identify and care for victims of GBV.

To this end IPPF/WHR has already presented several workshops aimed at training key personnel and has worked with staff from the affiliates to design and create screening tools that will enable health care providers to detect and care for the victims of violence.

Brothers for Change, also funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was created by IPPF/WHR's affiliate in Jamaica, FAMPLAN, and the Probation Office in response to the prevalence of domestic violence on the island and the need to involve men more actively in the issue of sexual and reproductive health. The program aims to increase the capacity of FAMPLAN staff, volunteers and probation officers to address issues related to GBV and sexual and reproductive health, increase awareness about the health problem, implement an intervention program and strengthen collaboration with other select agencies involved in GBV.

"Donations from philanthropic organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help us to improve the quality of life for thousands of underserved people in Latin America and the Caribbean" said Dr. Hernán Sanhueza, regional director IPPF/WHR. "We look forward to further collaboration with the Gates Foundation, because without the financial support from institutions like these, IPPF/WHR, through its affiliates in the region, could not accomplish its humanitarian mission," added Dr. Sanhueza.

IPPF/WHR advocates for the sexual and reproductive rights of the underserved in the Western Hemisphere region and believes that having access to family planning information and sexual and reproductive health services is a basic human right that contributes to the wellbeing of women, children and men throughout the world. IPPF/WHR was founded in 1954 and is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of New York. It has 46 affiliates located in North, Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more about International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region visit the website.

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