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STATEMENT: US withdraws funding from United Nations Population Fund - ODI response

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The UN Population Fund provides reproductive health services to women around the world

The State Department says Dollars 32.5 million in funding will instead be shifted to a US Agency for International Development account for family planning and reproductive health.

"I believe that any independent, unbiased investigation into UNFPA's activities in China will lead to the inescapable conclusion that they are complicit with China's population control practices, which include forced abortion and involuntary sterilization", Littlejohn said.

The move comes as a follow up to President Trump's decision, three days after his inauguration, to restore Reagan-era policy that denies federal funding to abortion-supporting or promoting groups.

UNFPA is the leading United Nations agency promoting access to voluntary forms of family planning - services that are essential to enabling women and girls to determine the number and spacing of their children and combating violence against women and preventing child marriage.

The account will be used by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to support family planning, maternal and reproductive health activities in developing countries, it added.

The US decision to cut funding to the UN Population Fund is based on an inaccurate perception and could be devastating for the health of women and girls worldwide, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday. Still, the memo acknowledged there was no evidence of United Nations support for forced abortions or sterilization in China.

"The U.S.is one of the largest contributors to the UNFPA, and eliminating U.S. funds threatens the health and rights of millions of girls and women around the world, particularly those in crisis situations", U.N. Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin said in a statement Monday evening. "Indeed, United Nations Member States have long described UNFPA's work in China as a force for good", the statement read. "This is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the U.N. Population Fund's 'model country program, ' where UNFPA-trained officials oversee the enforcement of the one-child policy, and where abuses are rampant", he wrote.

It seems to be founded on the 1985 Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits US taxpayer money from funding abortion or forced sterilization anywhere in the world.

This move from the Trump administration follows the president's January executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, a measure that forbids the USA from sending money overseas to organizations providing abortions.

It is not unusual for Republican presidents to cut off funds to the U.N. Population Fund.

Vox also reported that this isn't the first time the US has defunded the UNFPA, leading to an impact on families.

The UN Population Fund works on population and reproductive issues. No one should applaud China's announced "two-child" policy; instead we should be insisting they abolish intrusive and abusive birth restrictions forever.

Ten years later Sadik's successor, Thoraya Obaid of Saudi Arabia, also praised China's policy, according to a March 2001 report in China's People's Daily.

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