The Trump-Pence administration based its defunding decision on the misleading assumption that the UN agency is involved in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization in China, which U.S. Congress investigations have already disproven. Another example of ‘alternative facts’, as UNFPA is known within the UN for its efforts to advance China's respect for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of its citizens.
UNFPA will be losing about $70 million a year, one tenth of its budget. The decision is a catastrophe for the millions of people UNFPA is reaching in the 150 countries where it is present. US defunding makes the future support from European donors ever more important.
In March the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and his Swedish, Danish and Dutch colleagues hosted a big international conference in answer to the declining support for SRHR since the inauguration of the Republican president. Under the banner of ‘She Decides’ these countries, by now joined by others and with the support of the civil society, will be devoted to bridge the funding gap and promote these human rights.