Family Planning associations seek alternative funding following US policy decision

Antigua & Barbuda, through the International Planned Parenthood Federation, is among regional countries that will be trying to make good on the offer of funding from several countries following a major “alarming” US policy decision.

That is according to the CEO of the Antigua-based Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, Alder Henry, who said Nordic countries in particular, have expressed a willingness to “pick up the slack” left by the US government’s decision to withhold funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“The extent to which that will be filled, we are not quite clear as yet but we are still pursuing that in order to continue the life-saving work we provide,” he said.

The US State Department announced on Monday that it was ending federal funding for the UNFPA because it supports, or participates in the management of a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation.

The UN agency, which is responsible for family planning and ending deaths in childbirth in more than 150 countries, denied the “erroneous” claim that it has any links to forcing women to get abortions.

In 2016, the US contributed $69 million to the UNFPA towards the agency’s core costs, and short-term support for projects in humanitarian settings. In 2015, the US was the agency’s third largest bilateral donor, contributing $75 million to its operations.

 

(More in today’s Daily Observer)