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Rich countries pledge $2.6 billion for family planning in developing countries

The announcement was made Wednesday at the London Summit on Family Planning and is expected to provide access to family planning for 120 million women in developing countries.

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A London summit saw billions pledged Wednesday for family planning in developing countries. (Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Developed countries pledge $2.6 billion for poor nations at a London family planning conference Wednesday.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the London Summit on Family Planning and is expected to provide access to family planning for 120 million women in developing countries, reported the Guardian.

"Enabling an additional 120 million women in the world's poorest countries to access and use contraception, something women in the developed world take for granted, will save millions of lives and enable girls and women to determine their own futures," said Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell in a statement

More then 20 countries stepped in to pledge money.

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The Guardian reported that organizers say the money will lead to 200,000 less women in the developing world dying in pregnancy and childbirth.

They also said that it will reduce unintended pregnancies.

Reuters reported that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also plans to unveil hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding to expand the availability of contraception.

The summit also heard from numerous developing countries, which said they were working to step up efforts to battle HIV/AIDS, expand family planning programs and increase the use of contraception.

The European Union pledged $28 million ahead of the summit.

The US did not pledge funds, stating that this conference was a time to welcome new donors.

The United States has already given $640 to developing countries for family planning over the next eight years.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120711/rich-countries-pledge-26-billion-family-planning-developing-coun