UN Population Fund hails new European Union funding for reproductive health projects
In the wake of lost funding from the United States, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed a new pledge by the European Union (EU) of 32 million euros for sexual and reproductive health projects in nearly two dozen developing countries.
The money will fund a joint effort carried out by UNFPA in partnership with the EU and the International Planned Parenthood Federation to provide poor countries with family planning services and advice on population and health issues.
“We are very grateful to our staunch partners in the EU for their generous
support,” UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid said in a statement released following
the announcement on Wednesday. “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.”
The agency chief also hailed the timing of the decision. “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.”
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 Ms. Obaid, calling on the agency’s partners for support.
“Unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and HIV prevention will not wait,”
she warned. “We cannot allow poor women to suffer, and die, because they cannot get the care they need.”