World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UK’s 85% Family Planning Aid Cut Will Be Devastating For Women & Girls Says UNFPA; UNAIDS Also 'Deeply Regrets' Cuts

The United Kingdom’s intention to cut 85 per cent of its contribution to a flagship UN family planning programme this year, will have devastating consequences for women and girls and their families across the world, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) said on Thursday.

“When funding stops, women and girls suffer”, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, said in a statement, “especially the poor, those living in remote, underserved communities and through humanitarian crises.”

Dr. Kanem added that the UNFPA deeply regrets the UK’s decision to step away from its commitments at a time when inequalities are deepening, and international solidarity is needed more than ever.

Impact of the cuts

The withdrawal of approximately $180 million to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership, would have helped prevent around 250,000 maternal and child deaths, 14.6 million unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions, she added.

Whilst acknowledging the challenging situation facing many donor governments, Dr. Kanem said the UNFPA deeply regrets the UK’s decision to step away from its commitments at a time when inequalities are deepening and international solidarity is needed more than ever.

154 million GBP ($211 million) had been the expected contribution from the UK for 2021. This will now be reduced to around 23 million GBP ($32 million), a retreat from agreed commitments made to the programme in 2020.

In addition, 12 million GBP ($17 million) is to be cut from UNFPA’s core operating funds. Several country-level agreements are also likely to be impacted.

Delivering on rights to modern contraceptives

Dr. Kanem stated that the UNFPA remained dedicated to its mandate and is currently assessing the full scope and impact of the cuts, whilst actively formulating mitigation strategies.

Reiterating the rights of women and girls to modern contraceptives, Dr. Kanem called on all the agency’s partners and allies to come together and secure the viability of UNFPA Supplies and of all its programmes.

In this Decade of Action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the unfinished business of the International Conference on Population and Development programme, to deliver on the promises made to women and girls must be finished.

They are counting on us, Dr. Kanem said.

UNAIDS 'deeply regrets' announcement of UK cuts

The UN agency dedicted to ending AIDS, UNAIDS, also expressed deep regret at the UK decision to cut funding for the agency by more than 80 per cent, during 2021.

The UK confirmed to the agency that its funding would extend to GBP 2.5 million, compared to the GBP 15 million received by UNAIDS from the UK for 2020.

"This cut of GBP 12.5 million (or more than 80%) is significant. It affects the provision of live-saving HIV prevention and treatment services around the world", said the agency, in a statement released late on Thursday.

"It affects the empowerment of young women and adolescent girls and their access to sexual and reproductive health and rights across the world, and Africa in particular. It impacts on support to upholding the human rights of some of the most marginalized people, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex people in low and middle-income countries. It reduces global health security."

While the agency said it recognizes the "challenging situation facing many governments", it "deeply regrets this decision of our longstanding partner and advocate. We are assessing the full scope and impact of the cut and are actively formulating mitigation strategies."

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>

World Vision: India’s Second Wave Shows The Global Fight Against COVID-19 Is Far From Won

As India’s COVID-19 daily infection rates reach devastating levels, international aid agency World Vision has warned that the world is nowhere near defeating this virus and some nations are yet to face their worst days. Andrew Morley, World Vision ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>