The World Population Foundation (WPF) was founded in 1987 in the Netherlands by Diana and Roy W Brown. Their purpose was to create an organisation to draw attention to the effects of high birth rates and rapid population growth on maternal and infant mortality, communities and the environment, and to raise funds for population projects and programmes, with the ultimate aim of reducing world poverty and improving the quality of life of the world’s poorest people.
From 1987 until 1994, WPF was a small organisation mainly supported by donations from the founders and by consultancy assignments. In 1994, the WPF played an important role in the Dutch delegation of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. At this conference, the Cairo Programme of Action was adopted which still serves as a foundation for WPF’s work.
WPF works to reduce maternal and infant mortality, and improve sexual health and reproductive rights. It acknowledges that attention for these themes and to the improvement of services will contribute to the struggle against poverty worldwide. Therefore WPF advocates the implementation of these themes in the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
WPF works to strengthen the capacity of local organisations, assists in developing and implementing activities, and provides management training. WPF’s approach is based on Dutch policies on sexual and reproductive health, especially with regard to young people. As of 2006, WPF supported NGOs in nine countries.
In the Netherlands WPF is campaigning under the MYBODY label, with the slogan My Life, My Choice, MYBODY.