European Union to Step in With More Money for UN Population Fund After United States Withholds Funds
July 24, 2002
The European Union will give an extra 32 million euro ($31.8 million) to the UN Population Fund (UNPF) to make up for a US decision to withhold funds earmarked for UN family planning programs, an EU official said Wednesday. Under pressure from social conservatives who oppose abortion, the Bush administration announced Monday that it was withholding $34 million from the UN fund. Officials charged that some of the fund's money goes to Chinese agencies that carry out "coercive programs" involving abortion.
Poul Nielson, EU commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, criticized Bush's stance, calling organizations like the UNPF "part of the solution and not part of the problem" in fighting poverty and AIDS. China denies that its family planning program, which limits most couples to one child, uses forced abortions. The UNPF also denies that its programs support forced abortions.
The additional EU funding was put in the pipeline after President George W. Bush signaled his intentions shortly after taking office last year, the EU official said on condition of anonymity. "That has now gone through the process and been approved" by the 15 EU governments, he said. The new EU money is to be formally announced later Wednesday.
"If it is necessary for others to fill the decency gap in view of recent decisions [in Washington], we will do it," Nielson said in a speech last year. The EU money will fund a program for sexual and reproductive health in 22 developing countries, in conjunction with the UNPF and the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.
07.24.02; Paul Geitner
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.