On Monday, April 4th, the U.S. Administration cut all future funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), costing the U.N. family planning, sexual, and reproductive health agency its second largest supporter and donor.
Plan is concerned about the impact eliminating investments in women’s sexual and reproductive health will have on the lives of millions of vulnerable girls and women around the world.
The UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral source of funding for reproductive health programs, working with governments and NGOs in more than 150 countries and with the support of the international community. UNFPA programs decrease violence against women; increase the equality and agency of women and girls; help women undergo safe pregnancy and childbirth; prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections; and help women, men, and young people voluntarily plan their families.
Quality sexual and reproductive health care services and information can transform the lives of girls and women, as well as their communities. The wider benefits of these services are helping pull millions out of poverty. Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health care services and information has broad implications that go beyond health, and is likely to impact girls’ and young women’s educational opportunities, career prospects, and financial security for their entire lives.
Our experience shows that comprehensive sexuality education and access to quality contraceptive services can significantly improve girls’ and women’s life chances, including their survival and survival of their children. Unintended pregnancies are often a consequence of violations of girls’ and women’s fundamental rights.
Plan works in more than 50 countries around the world to provide development and humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society. Millions of girls, children, and women will suffer if sexual and reproductive health services that provide vital support to them are withdrawn or cut back, such as those services offered by UNFPA. Plan calls on the Administration to continue to invest in critical global health programs that provide access to health services for the world’s most vulnerable populations.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
- Globally, adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19 experience higher maternal mortality than women in their twenties and thirties.
- When pregnancies occur too close together, mothers do not have enough time to improve their own nutrition, so babies are born underweight and can experience health problems throughout childhood.
- When a girl marries and has children later in life, she has fewer and healthier children. This means she has a better chance to stay healthy herself, and her children will be 3-10 times more likely to survive.
- When girls delay childbearing, they can complete their education. For each year that a girl stays in school, her income will rise by 15%. With the opportunity to earn a living, she will pull herself out of poverty, and bring her children along with her. She will invest what she earns in them, and in their health, education, and futures.
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.