Saturday, 24 June, 2017

U.N. chief warns U.S. funding cut may have devastating effects

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington The US Won't Give Any More Money To The UN Population Fund
Tracy Craig | 05 April, 2017, 02:26

The Trump administration's decision to pull support from a United Nations family planning agency hurts some of the world's most desperate women and girls, advocates said Tuesday.

The State Department said the funding was cut because UNFPA works with the Chinese government, which "employs measures such as coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization to carry out its population-control policies".

UNFPA issued its own statement Tuesday, rejecting the US accusation that it supports coercive abortion and forced sterilization in China. Democratic presidents - including President Obama in 2009 - typically reinstate the funding.

Women's health advocates warn that US support for family planning and reproductive health services is even more uncertain under the Trump administration, which in January reinstated a controversial policy that withholds funding for worldwide organizations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion. It's up to each administration to determine which organizations meet that condition.

This support has been tenuous under the last two Republican presidencies.

Jalan said there is no evidence the UNFPA has supported the policy and added that the agency has in fact worked with the Chinese government to help reverse it.

"In 2016, USA support for UNFPA prevented an estimated 320,000 pregnancies and averted 100,000 unsafe abortions, while ensuring 800,000 people had access to contraception".

United Nations agencies such as the UNFPA are funded by governments voluntarily.

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The UNFPA called the claim "erroneous" and assured that all of its work promotes the rights of people to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination.

Starting in 1979, China had a "one-child policy" enforced in many cases with state-mandated abortions.

"CARE calls on the Trump Administration to stand by our American values and restore full funding to UNFPA to ensure they can continue providing access to health services for the world's most vulnerable populations". "We were not surprised that the Trump administration would move to defund UNFPA".

This is the first of the promised cuts to United States financial contributions to the UN by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has also signalled that it no longer sees a need for the U.S.to so generously fund United Nations and other global organizations.

"The determination will result in withholding Dollars 32.5 million of fiscal year 2017 funding, provided for UNFPA", it said, adding that the funds instead will be directed to other global health programs.

The statement went on to note, for example, that U.S. funding for UNFPA had worked to ensure safe childbirth for refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and funded the only Iraqi clinic for survivors of "physical abuse, sexual violence, and other horrific atrocities inflicted by ISIL".

BBC reported that the state department says the agency supports or participates in a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation in China. The George W. Bush administration similarly cited Kemp-Kasten to strip funding in 2002, claiming UNFPA was complicit in forced sterilizations and abortions as part of China's one-child policy.

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