US funding cut to UNFPA may have devastating effects: UN chief Antonio Guterres

The UN agency’s aim is to deliver a world “where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled,” according to its website.

By: PTI | United Nations | Published:April 5, 2017 12:56 pm

Us funding of Antonio Guterres, Antonio Guterres news, United Nations Population Fund, US funding cut to UNFPA, World news, Latest news, International news, World news UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres feels the decision is based on an “inaccurate perception” of the nature and importance of the work of the UNFPA. (Source: Reuters)UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced “deep regret” at the US’ decision to cut financial support for the United Nations Population Fund, saying the move could have “devastating effects” on the health of vulnerable women and girls around the world.

The UN chief said that cutting financial support for the UN Population Fund, formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), which is active in more than 150 countries and territories, is based on a misinterpretation of the agency’s work.

“The Secretary-General deeply regrets the decision by the United States to cut financial support for the UN Population Fund, which could have devastating effects on the health of vulnerable women and girls and their families around the world,” a statement issued by Guterres’ spokesperson here said on Tuesday.

It said Guterres feels the decision is based on an “inaccurate perception” of the nature and importance of the work of the UNFPA.

The UN chief, who as High Commissioner for Refugees, saw first-hand the life-saving character of UNFPA’s activities, appealed to donors to increase their support for the UNFPA to allow it to continue its “critical” work during this “difficult” period.

In a separate statement, the UNFPA regretted the decision by the US to deny any future funding for its work the world over. It also noted that the decision is based on the “erroneous claim” that the UNFPA “supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation” in China.

Refuting this claim, the UNFPA said all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination.

“UN member states have long described UNFPA’s work in China as a force for good,” the UNFPA said.

The funding cut, which would go into effect during the 2017 fiscal year, was announced in a memo from the US State Department stating that the UNFPA “supports, or participates in the management of a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation in China”.

The agency said the support it received over the years from the US government saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, especially in the current rapidly developing global humanitarian crises.

With the previous contribution of the US, the UNFPA was combatting gender-based violence and reducing the scourge of maternal deaths in the world’s most fragile settings, in areas of conflict and natural disasters, including Iraq, Nepal, Sudan, Syria, Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen, it said.

“We have always valued the United States as a trusted partner and leader in helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. We, therefore, look forward to continuing our work with the US to address these global concerns…,” the UNFPA said.

The UN agency’s aim is to deliver a world “where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled,” according to its website.

In the past year, the agency saved the lives of more than 2,340 women from dying during pregnancy and childbirth, and helped to ensure more than 1,250 fistula surgeries.

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About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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