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UNDP has provided financial assistance to the Bangladesh family planning program. Fertility decreased from more than six children per woman in 1975 to about three in 2004 -- a decline that exceeded the pace of change in most other countries at Bangladesh's economic level.
UNDP was one of the four sponsoring agencies that led the onchocerciasis control programs, first in West African from 1974 until 2002, and in a second program in central and east Africa since 1995. UNDP, along with FAO, took the lead in development planning. In addition to the public health dimensions of the program’s success in virtually eliminating the disease, the program has also helped wipe out a serious constraint to socio-economic development. 25 million hectares of arable land - enough to feed an additional 17 million people - are now safe for resettlement.
UNDP contributed modest financial support to the global smallpox eradication campaign. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977.