US withdraws monetary support from UN Population Fund

World Today

The U.S. has announced it’s withdrawing funding for the United Nations Population Fund. The agency promotes family planning worldwide.

Critics said the decision is based on inaccurate perceptions of the work done by UNFPA, which saves lives.

CGTN’s Lorna Shaddick reports.

Follow Lorna Shaddick on Twitter @lornashaddick

US withdraws monetary support from United Nations Population Fund

The U.S. has announced it's withdrawing funding for the United Nations Population Fund. The agency promotes family planning worldwide. CGTN's Lorna Shaddick reports from U.N. headquarters in New York.

When Nikki Haley walked into the U.N. for her first day on the job as U.S. ambassador, she made it clear things were going to change.

“There is a new USUN. Our goal with the administration is to show value at the U.N., and the way that we’ll show value is to show our strength,” Haley said.

Part of that strength, the U.S. said, would be reviewing funding for various U.N. agencies. After President Trump reinstated a ban on American support for any kind of abortion service, the $32.5 million earmarked for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) was in the firing line.

The U.S. State Department said the agency partnered with China’s Health and Family Planning Commission. Therefore, it supported the country’s two child policy, which it said results in forced abortions and involuntary sterilization.

However,  the UNFPA’s official non-profit support group has said that’s not the case, and this move will result in women’s lives being lost worldwide.

“The State Department actually went and looked at the UNFPA’s program in China, and they saw that there was no coercive family planning, this was all voluntary family planning, human rights based services. Cutting the U.S. funds to UNFPA is cutting women’s lives short. We’re talking about the cutbacks in essential services to women, we’re talking about 800 women a day still dying in preventable childbirth situations,” Melissa Kuklin, Executive Director for Friends of UNFPA said.

The Secretary General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Antonio Guterres deeply regretted the move. Experts have said such groups have often been the target of conservative Republican presidents.

For now, the U.N.’s calling on donors to increase their support for the U.N. Population Fund to try and make up the funding gap.