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Loss Of U.S. Funding For UNFPA 'Would Be Devastating' To Family Planning Services In Developing Countries

“By voting to ban any U.S. contribution to UNFPA” in the FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday “made a judgment call that saving the lives of women and girls around the world is simply not a U.S. priority,” Valerie DeFillipo, president of Friends of UNFPA, writes in a Huffington Post “Global Motherhood” opinion piece. She notes that “[c]ommittee members voted against amendments that would permit funding to UNFPA for preventing and treating obstetric fistula, ending female genital mutilation, and providing family planning services and contraceptive supplies in nine sub-Saharan African countries with high rates of poverty and maternal mortality where USAID does not provide family planning assistance.”

“Given that the decisions we make today impact the world we will live in tomorrow, this short-sightedness on the part of leadership in the House of Representatives forges a treacherous path,” DeFillipo writes, adding, “Without the funding to support these vital [UNFPA-backed] programs and services, all of the progress we have made up until this point will be in jeopardy.” She continues, “Simply put: to be able to sustain the scope and breadth of its work, UNFPA relies on funds from the United States. The loss of U.S. funding would be devastating to the women and girls in developing countries who need these services the most” (5/17).