Jul 20, 1999
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – "Last year Congress altogether eliminated US contributions to the UNFPA. Because the US did not contribute to the UNFPA, in one year alone an additional 1,200 women and 22,500 infants died during pregnancy and an additional 870,000 women and men were deprived of effective contraception. Since the UNFPA’s inception 30 years ago, the US has been its largest donor," Congresswoman Maloney said in a statement this afternoon.

"I am proud to say that today, a bi-partisan group of members has voted to restore US funding to the UNFPA, an organization which critically serves mothers and babies. UNFPA aids women, children, and families in approximately 160 countries around the world where health care structures are fragile and in need of support from the global community," Maloney said.

Today in a 221-198 vote, the Campbell-Gilman-Maloney-Crowley amendment to restore funding to the UNFPA, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The winning legislation was offered as an amendment Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) amendment to prohibit any US contributions to the UNFPA. Both amendments were part of the American Embassy Security and State Department Authorization Act of 1999, H.R. 2415.

The UNFPA is the United Nations Population Fund. It is the largest internationally funded source of population assistance to developing countries. Half of all UNFPA funding goes to maternal and child health. UNFPA provides voluntary family planning services, maternal and child health care, and sexually-transmitted disease prevention, including HIV/AIDS. Every country in the United Nations contributes to UNFPA on a voluntary basis.

In 1998, Congress voted to zero-out UNFPA funding because opponents feared funding UNFPA’s programs in China. This year, the passing amendment states that "none of the funds made available under subsection (a) may be made available for the UNFPA for a country program in the People’s Republic of China." In fact, the amendment further stipulates that for every dollar the UNFPA spends on China’s family planning, the US will take a dollar away from the US overall contribution to UN family planning.

"UNFPA activities advance the cause of population stabilization across the globe, which reduces pressure on the environment, migration, the spread of disease, and political instability and facilitates social and economic advancements, the promotion of peace, and preservation of the global environment. Today, Congress has made a wise decision for our global community," Maloney concluded.