U.N. Secretary-General Annan Criticizes Bush Administration for Withholding UNFPA Funding
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday criticized the Bush administration for withholding $34 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund, Xinhua News Agency reports (Xinhua News Agency, 7/21). The Bush administration last week said that for the third consecutive year it would withhold the funding, saying that because the organization works in China, it supports the Chinese government's policy of coerced abortions to maintain a goal of one child per family. The Bush administration in its decision cited the Kemp-Kasten law, which requires funding to be blocked for agencies if the president determines that a group "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." UNFPA has spent approximately $3.5 million in the past year for a pilot program in China to educate Chinese women about HIV transmission and contraception (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/19). Annan said that UNFPA is doing "very essential work on reproductive health." He added that fighting AIDS "is an area where UNFPA is doing very good work with mothers, with communities and societies, and really needs help." UNFPA has said that the United States is the only country that has withheld funding for "non-budgetary" reasons, according to Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua News Agency, 7/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.