U.N. Population Fund decries U.S. funding halt

NEW YORK-- The U.N. Population Fund expressed regret Tuesday at the decision by the United States to end funding for its work promoting family planning around the globe.

"This decision is based on the erroneous claim that UNFPA 'supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization' in China," it said in a press release.

"UNFPA refutes this claim, as all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination," it said in a statement.

The U.N. agency said other U.N. member states "have long described UNFPA's work in China as a force for good," and that past funding by the United States has helped save tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration decided Monday to end funding for the U.N. agency, its first cut to U.S. financial support for the United Nations, raising concerns over further reductions by the U.N.'s top contributor.

"We are very concerned about the Americans cutting the funds to UNFPA, which we think UNFPA is doing a great job, we support them, we think they save lives of women and girls around the world, not least in the developing world," Sweden's Ambassador to the United Nations Olof Skoog told reporters on Tuesday.

China's Ambassador Liu Jieyi said it was important to support multilateral obligations and that he hoped that U.N. agencies would receive the necessary resources to carry out their work.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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