Support for FP/RH programs for women and families in developing countries remained constant, with level funding for bilateral programs. However, the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), which saves thousands of lives each year, took an unfortunate $5 million hit. Congressional family planning champions are to be commended for holding the line against deeper funding cuts and fending off hostile policy riders.
FUNDINGThe State Department and foreign operations bill section of the massive omnibus includes a total of $610 million in bilateral and multilateral FP/RH funding. Comparable FY 2011 funding totaled $615 million. Statutory language earmarks “not less than” $575 million for bilateral FP/RH programs from all funding accounts, including the Global Health Programs account and funding for FP/RH activities from Economic Support Funds (ESF) and Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA). The level of $575 million is identical to the amount earmarked for bilateral programs in the FY 2011 continuing resolution. Report language designates that $524 million of the $575 million total is to be provided from the Global Health Programs account managed by USAID, equivalent to current expenditures.
In addition, the bill includes $35 million for a U.S. contribution to the UN Population Fund in the international organizations and programs (IO&P) account, representing a $5 million reduction from the amount appropriated for FY 2011. The bill also incorporates longstanding restrictions on the UNFPA contribution, including requirements that UNFPA maintain U.S. funds in a segregated account, none of which may be used in China or for abortion, and mandates a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount provided to UNFPA by a sum identical to that spent by UNFPA in China. UNFPA has faced unrelenting attacks in the House during 2011 including a flat-out funding prohibition inserted in the House version of the appropriations bill and the introduction and committee approval of a freestanding bill to end U.S. financial support to UNFPA.