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

4 April 2017

The US State Department has announced it is withdrawing funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the lead UN agency focused on reproductive health and family planning.

Nicola Jones, Principal Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, said: ‘It is extremely concerning that the US government has decided to defund the UNFPA given the agency’s critical role in supporting vital maternal health and family planning services globally, including women and girls in difficult to reach fragile settings.

‘This withdrawal of funding will place at risk the UNFPA’s essential role as a champion for ending early and forced child marriage and female genital mutilation, two practices that jeopardise the health and futures of millions of girls annually.

‘Among UN agencies, UNFPA has also played a key role in supporting programmes to tackle sexual and gender-based violence, a problem that affects an estimated one in three women worldwide.

‘Although less visible, the UNFPA also supports governments to carry out their national population and housing census, a critical tool in informing policymakers where to invest in schools, health services, roads and other infrastructure which makes a key difference in citizens’ daily wellbeing.’

ENDS

To arrange an interview with Nicola Jones please contact James Rush on [email protected] or +44 (0)7808 791265