UN Population Fund welcomes Africa's call for restoration of funding cut by US

UN Population Fund welcomes Africa's call for restoration of funding cut by US

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today welcomed the support it has received from more than 50 African countries which jointly wrote to the United States Administration urging Washington to restore its just-cut contributions to the Fund.

The letter from the African Group of States came in response to the Administration's decision to withhold $34 million appropriated for UNFPA by Congress.

"I deeply appreciate Africa's vote of confidence in UNFPA's work to save lives by helping to reduce maternal deaths and slow the spread of HIV/AIDS in developing countries," said Thoraya Obaid, the Fund's Executive Director. She pledged that the agency would continue playing its role in promoting development by providing concrete assistance to those in need.

In their letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the African countries said the sizeable reduction in UNFPA's budget due to Washington's decision would have a negative impact on the continent's population programmes.

"We are particularly disturbed by its potential impact on our efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS, promote family planning and improve the lives of children, especially the girl-child and of women, which are all critical for Africa's growth and development," they wrote.