US Cuts $32 Million Funding to UN Family Planning Agency

Apr 05, 2017, 00:43
US Cuts $32 Million Funding to UN Family Planning Agency

The U.N. Population Fund is focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries.

The State Department said those funds will instead be shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

UNFPA is involved in crises from Syria to Yemen to South Sudan, because one in five women "of childbearing age" in crisis situation is likely to be pregnant. The amendment affects organizations that support or participate in coercive abortion programs or involuntary sterilization.

"Although less visible, the UNFPA also supports governments to carry out their national population and housing census, a critical tool in informing policymakers where to invest in schools, health services, roads and other infrastructure which makes a key difference in citizens" daily wellbeing'.

"China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the past 10 years", UNFPA executive director Nafis Sadik of Pakistan told the Xinhua news agency in April 1991.

The State Department said the United Nations fund partners with China's National Health and Family Planning Commission, responsible for overseeing China's "two-child policy" - a loosened version of the notorious "one-child policy" in place from 1979 to 2015.

In its statement, the State Department referred to a presidential directive signed by Trump in January, which banned USA funding for any global organizations providing abortion services or advice. It has a few times been cut off by Republican presidents and later restored by Democrats.

"There are extreme conservatives in the House that have an overall appetite to cut off US funding for basic healthcare for girls and women around the world, and unfortunately funding for UNFPA has been caught up in that political work", said Seema Jalan, the executive director of the Universal Access Project at the U.N. Foundation. " This provision, included by Congress in every foreign operations spending act since 1985, prohibits US funding of any organization or program that the president determines "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization". The Obama administration restored this funding".

The UN chief believes the U.S. decision is "based on an inaccurate perception of the nature and importance of the work done by UNFPA".

UNFPA stated that it regrets the US government's decision to end funding, which it said is based on an "erroneous claim" that the agency supports coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.

The State Department revealed that it withheld $32.5 in funding because the UNFPA "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization".

The group said it has saved "tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, in addition to "combatting gender-based violence and reducing the scourge of maternal deaths in the world's most fragile settings". It's also a racist policy.

The amendment was adopted in response to China's introduction several years earlier of its "one-child policy" to control population growth. She referred to a 2002 investigation by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that found UNFPA was complicit with Chinese officials in coercive methods of family planning.

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