New York—The Trump Administration’s decision to cut US funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), announced today, is a major blow to the world’s most important agency for reproductive health.
“Foreign policy should be rooted in evidence and results, not ideology and the politics of punishment,” said Shannon Kowalski, Director of Advocacy and Policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition. “Denying badly needed funding to the UN Population Fund means the US is threatening programs in more than 155 countries where the agency overcomes barriers for the world’s most vulnerable women to access critical reproductive health care.”
UNFPA is the largest international provider of contraception, family planning, and other reproductive health services. In 2016, US support for UNFPA prevented an estimated 320,000 pregnancies and averted 100,000 unsafe abortions, while ensuring 800,000 people had access to contraception. The agency partners with governments, UN agencies, the private sector, and a wide spectrum of community, faith-based, and international nongovernmental organizations to deliver quality care, services, information, and training. UNFPA’s work is particularly vital in areas affected by conflict and humanitarian crises, where access to reproductive health care is severely limited and few international organizations are able to provide services. The agency also gathers data to inform local and global decision-making on these issues.
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Photo from UNFPA