UNITED NATIONS - July 25
- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) welcomes the announcement made today
by the European Commission to strengthen its support for sexual and reproductive
health in 22 developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The
$32 million joint project will be carried out by UNFPA in partnership with the
European Union (EU) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
to provide the targeted countries with family planning services and advice on
population and health issues. Of the total amount, UNFPA is expected to receive
approximately $20 million.
"The resources will allow us to help
women in these countries plan their families, have safe pregnancies and deliveries,
and protect themselves from HIV infection," said Thoraya Obaid, executive director
of UNFPA. "We are very pleased with the European Commission's decision, especially
following the recent announcement by the United States Administration to withhold
funds from UNFPA this year."
The funding for the new three-and-a-half
year reproductive health initiative to serve 22 African, Caribbean and Pacific
nations was negotiated over the past year.
"We are very grateful to our staunch
partners in the EU for their generous support of multi-country reproductive health
initiatives, including the successful initiative in Asia, and we thank Poul Nielson,
the European Commissioner of Development and Humanitarian Aid, who has long been
a supporter of reproductive health, women's empowerment and UNFPA," said Obaid.
UNFPA is currently engaged in a special
fund-raising campaign to increase resources for its core programmes in all of
the 142 developing countries it helps. "The gap left by the withdrawal of U.S.
funding must still be filled," said Obaid. "We call on our partners to urgently
support poor women and families. Unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and HIV
prevention will not wait. We cannot allow poor women to suffer, and die, because
they cannot get the care they need. Together we must remain committed to the Cairo
Programme of Action on Population and Development to ensure universal access to
reproductive health services by 2015."
UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral
source of population assistance, with programs in 142 countries. Since it became
operational in 1969, the Fund has provided some $5.6 billion to developing countries
to meet reproductive health needs and support sustainable development.