Thursday, June 18, 2009

More money for family planning in 2010?

By Stacie Murphy

Yesterday, a House subcommittee approved the Fiscal Year 2010 State/Foreign Operations Appropriation bill that includes a substantial increase in funding for international family planning.

The subcommittee, under the leadership of Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), allocated $648 million for family planning and reproductive health care, including $60 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This amount is significantly higher than President Obama’s budget request of $593 million with $50 million for UNFPA.

Overall funding for international family planning declined by nearly 40% between 1995 and 2008. President Obama indicated his intent to reverse this trend by designating more than half of his proposed global health budget increase for family planning.

Yesterday’s move by the House subcommittee goes even further, signaling that they understand that, even in a difficult economic climate, real investment in international family planning will pay dividends: it will increase maternal and child survival, ease pressure on the environment, and encourage social stability in the developing world.

The bill will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee next week. We will keep you updated as the bill makes its way through the House and Senate.

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