How to spend $1m reducing climate change

We would get three or four times as much bang for our buck - in terms of climate change benefits - from population policies and girls' education as we would from the most cost-effective investments in forest management, and in addition we'd get the broader economic and social benefits for the people of developing countries.

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Family planning in Ethiopia and the new UN strategy

This week I attended the inauguration a new Marie Stopes family planning clinic in Woldia in northern Ethiopia. Together with yesterdays announcement by the UN of a new "Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health", Every Woman, Every Child, this has led me to reflect on the importance of family planning and maternal health in Ethiopia and in other developing countries.  There is huge unmet need for family planning here in Ethiopia which, if met in full, could both directly improve the lives of many families in Ethiopia, and result in a substantial increase in incomes per head.  A decade of sustained access to modern contraception could have increase incomes per head in Ethiopia by roughly the same amount as the whole of today's international aid to Ethiopia.  The new UN strategy, Every Woman Every Child, isn't really a strategy, but it is a welcome restatement of the importance of the health of women and children. It is shocking that it is almost completely silent on abortion. (Here in Ethiopia, unsafe abortion is responsible for a third of maternal deaths.)

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