3-5 Dec 2014 – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held it’s 3rd National Repositioning Family Planning Conference in December of 2014. Co-sponsored by USAID, the United Nations Population Fund, and Tulane University project, the three-day conference in Kinshasa addressed how to advance the country’s National Strategic Plan for Family Planning. The DRC has committed to reposition family planning (FP) in the past decade, with its first conference organized in 2004 and its second conference held in 2009. The objectives of this 3rd Conference included (1.) Increase FP visibility in order to raise more funding from the government and donors in the health sector; (2.) Mobilize other partners from the private sector and faith-based organizations; and to (3.) Emphasize youth’s access to family planning services. Each day of the conference had a theme, one of which was the demographic dividend.  Population Reference Bureau (PRB) joined officials and technical experts from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Planning, and the non-profit sector to explore the potential for a demographic dividend in DRC. The Minister of Planning spoke on the importance of a multi-sectorial approach to poverty reduction and improved health for the citizenry, showing the importance of understanding what a demographic dividend is and how it contributes to the socio-economic emergence of a nation. PRB screened the ENGAGE presentation “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend,” further emphasizing the need not only for stronger government commitment to FP, but also establishing a need for informed advocates who will push for the adoption of a budget which adequately funds FP services.

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