Europe fills reproductive health funding gap

Posted: 14 October 2004

The European Union will give $75 million this year to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to provide reproductive health supplies needed by developing countries.

UNFPA welcomed the decision, announced today at a special meeting of the General Assembly, marking the tenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

Mother and newly-born child, Ghana© Nancy Durrell McKenna
Mother and newly-born child, Ghana© Nancy Durrell McKenna
Mother and new-born child, Ghana© Nancy Durrel McKenna
Hans van den Broek of the Netherlands, Special Envoy of the European Union Presidency, told the meeting that the Union's 25 member states and the European Commission would collectively "fill the entire reproductive health commodities gap of $75 million in 2004 through a special contribution to UNFPA's Reproductive Health Commodity Fund." UNFPA has estimated it will need that amount to meet the 2005 supply requirements of 49 developing countries that depend on external assistance for contraceptives and condoms for HIV prevention.

"Reproductive health services are some of the most cost-effective health interventions," said Mr. van den Broek. A million dollars in reproductive health commodities, he added, will prevent "360,000 unintended pregnancies; 150,000 induced abortions; 800 maternal deaths; 11,000 infant deaths; and 14,000 deaths of children under five."

"We are extremely grateful for this very generous initiative by the European Union member states and the Commission," said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. "This significant amount will save the lives of millions of men and women - particularly young people - around the world. It is a much appreciated boost to the international community's efforts to fulfil the Cairo vision of making reproductive health commodities and services available to all those who need them."

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