July 25, 2013 -
Battle Lines Drawn on International Family Planning Aid Once again the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have taken diametrically opposed positions on international family planning assistance. It is a tale of two radically-different measures. The House version of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill would drastically slash international family planning funding, prohibit funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and re-impose the global gag rule that prevents family planning providers from counseling or advocating for safe abortions. The Senate version of the bill would increase funding for international family planning, fully fund UNFPA, and would permanently repeal the global gag rule.
June 25, 2013 -
UN Projects 9.6 Billion People by 2050 The latest population projections issued by the United Nation earlier this month suggest that world population is on a faster growth path than previously projected. The UN now projects that world population will reach 7.2 billion next month, 9.6 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100. That projection assumes, however, that access to family planning in developing countries will continue to expand and that fertility in the least developed countries will fall from 4.53 children per woman today to 2.87 by mid-century.
April 11, 2013 -
President Renews His Support for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Yesterday, as part of his proposed budget request for fiscal year 2014 (FY14), President Obama called upon Congress to increase funding for international family planning and reproductive health. This is good news for the 222 million women in developing countries who need access to family planning services and information.
March 04, 2013 -
Sequestration Impacts International Family Planning On March 1st with the President and Congress unable to reach an agreement to avert the sequester, sequestration went into effect. This means that many federal programs will see a 5% across the board cut in their funding. What this means for international family planning and reproductive health is that the $610 million that was allocated for family planning and reproductive health programs in FY2012 will be cut by $30.687 million.
January 22, 2013 -
Werner Fornos (1933-2013) This past week, the world lost a tireless advocate for family planning. Werner Fornos, who served as President of the Population Institute from 1982 to 2005, passed away on January 16 following a lengthy illness. He was 79. During his years of service at the Population Institute, Fornos was a powerful advocate for the United Nations Population Fund and U.S. international family planning assistance. An accomplished speaker and a recognized expert on population, he also gave frequent lectures about the challenges posed by rapid population growth.
May 31, 2012 -
Senate Committee Shows Strong Support for International Family Planning In a major victory for women in the developing world, the Senate Appropriations Committee has rejected the cutbacks in international family planning assistance endorsed earlier this month by the House Appropriations Committee. The Senate's version of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill would increase FY2013 funding by $134.5 million over the FY12 allocation. The Senate version of the bill also includes $44.5 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Senate Committee's version would also permanently repeal the global gag rule, which prohibits US foreign assistance from funding family planning providers that advocate for access to safe abortions.
May 17, 2012 -
House Committee Votes to Slash International Family Planning In a major defeat for the reproductive health of women in developing countries, the House Appropriations Committee today approved a State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that substantially cuts U.S. support for international family planning assistance. Rejecting the President's budget request of $642.7 million, the Committee approved $461 million appropriation for international family planning, $180 million less than the President's request, and $149 million below the current funding level.
April 30, 2012 -
House Budget Proposal Threatens Family Planning The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved a budget allocation plan that would reduce next year's foreign assistance budget by 9% percent. This 9% cut would come on top of a 15% cut for non-war related diplomacy and development since FY2010. While the plan does not specify the level of funding for international family planning assistance, Congressional adoption of the House budget allocation could jeopardize the President's budget request.
February 16, 2012 -
President Seeks to Restore Family Planning Funding President Obama this week, as part of his proposed budget request for fiscal year 2013 (FY2013), called upon Congress to restore funding for international family planning and reproductive health to the FY2010 level. This is good news for the 215 million women in developing countries who need access to family planning services and information.
December 20, 2011 -
Congress Rejects Large Cuts in International Family Planning Assistance The omnibus appropriations bill approved by Congress this week froze bilateral international family planning assistance at last year’s level of $575 million, but cut funding for the United Nations Population Fund from $40 million to $35 million. While the cut in funding for UNFPA is a setback, House opponents of family planning failed in their efforts to slash the funding levels by 25 percent.
October 21, 2011 -
New FAO Report Says Food Price Volatility Likely to Continue A new report released this month warns that "food price volatility featuring high prices is likely to continue and possibly increase, making poor farmers, consumers and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity." The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011, published by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme, looks at how the food crisis of 2006-2008 had a differing impact on countries around the world, the costs of food price volatility, and the dangers and upsides of high food prices.
September 23, 2011 -
Key Budget Battle Looms The Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved a State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 that would provide $700 million for international family planning assistance, including $40 million for the United Nations Population Fund. The Senate action would boost funding by $85 million over this year's appropriation level ($615 million), but a House Appropriations Subcommittee last month approved only $461 million, a 25 percent cut in funding.
July 27, 2011 -
House Subcommittee Votes to Cut International Family Planning Funding The House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee today approved $461 million for international family planning and reproductive health programs. This represents a 25% cut in U.S. international family planning assistance for FY2012. The decrease was approved as part of a larger appropriation bill for the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs.
July 19, 2011 -
Institute of Medicine Recommends Free Birth Control In a recommendation with profound implications for the future of family planning in America, an Institute of Medicine panel has recommended that health insurance companies be required to cover birth control for women as a free preventive service without any required copay. If, as expected, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius approves the recommendations made by the panel, the requirement could go in to effect as part of the new health care law.
April 20, 2011 -
FY 2011 Budget Compromise Cuts US International Family Planning by 5% The Congressional budget compromise approved earlier this month appropriates a total of $615 million for international family planning and reproductive health programs for current fiscal year (FY2011). Of that amount, $575 million is set aside for bilateral assistance; $40 million will be contributed to the United Nations Population Fund. The $615 million figure represents a 5% reduction from the FY2010 appropriation level ($648 million).
February 15, 2011 -
President Calls for 19% Boost in International Family Planning In his proposed budget for fiscal year 2012, President Obama requested $769 million for international family planning and reproductive health programs, a 19 percent increase in the $648 million level that was in effect last year (FY2010). The President request includes $47.5 million for the United Nations Population Fund. While the President’s request falls short of the full $1 billion requested by family planning advocates, it demonstrated the Administration's continuing commitment to meeting the family planning needs of women and men in the developing world.
January 12, 2011 -
Family Planning Faces Uphill Fight in 112th Congress U.S. support for international family planning and reproductive health programs could face potential cutbacks in the new Congress. And those cutbacks could occur sooner, rather than later. Between fiscal years 2008 and 2010, U.S support for international family planning and reproductive health programs rose to $648 million, a 40 percent increase, but momentum has stalled.
October 27, 2010 -
Wilberforce Award Announced Dick Smith, one of Australia’s most successful and recognized business leaders, is offering $1 million to “a young person under 30 who can impress me by becoming famous through his or her ability to show leadership in communicating an alternative to our population and consumption growth-obsessed economy.”
October 14, 2010 -
New Study Links Population and Climate Change A new scientific study released this week indicates that reductions in projected population growth could significantly reduce projected carbon emissions and help to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The report was prepared by an international team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The study, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concludes that by slowing population growth to the lower U.N. population projection for 2050, carbon emissions would be cut by 16 to 29 percent over the next 40 years.
September 22, 2010 -
Child Marriage Bill Moves Forward in the Senate Yesterday the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted unanimously to send the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Bill (S. 987) to the full Senate for consideration.
August 04, 2010 -
Congress Debates Legislation to Prevent Child Marriage Momentum is building in Congress for passage of legislation aimed at curbing the practice of child marriage in developing countries. Last month on Capitol Hill, the Human Rights Commission held a hearing on child marriage, calling in experts, including Melanne Verveer, the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, who urged Congress to pass the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act (H.R. 2103 S. 987).
July 01, 2010 -
International Family Planning Receives Boost from House Subcommittee The House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday approved $735 million for international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs, $20 million more than what President Obama requested in his budget. The increase, which includes $60 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was approved as part of a larger FY2011 appropriation bill for the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs.
May 19, 2010 -
Foreign Aid Fight Imperils International Family Planning As expected, the President's proposed foreign aid budget has run into opposition in Congress, opposition that could also endanger the President's proposed increase in international family planning assistance.
January 08, 2010 -
U.S. Government Rejoins Worldwide Consensus on Reproductive Health In a speech today at the State Department, Secretary Clinton declared the U.S. government's renewed support and dedication to reaching the health and development goals laid out in the International Conference on Population Development and other related UN agreements, including the Millennium Development Goals.
The Secretary said that "women's health is essential to the prosperity and health of all people," and that the U.S. has rejoined with all governments to "make the access to reproductive healthcare a basic right".
December 16, 2009 -
Congress Approves 19 Percent Hike in International Family Planning Assistance Congress has completed action on an omnibus appropriations bill that will boost funding for international family planning assistance in 2010 to $648.5 million, an increase of more than $103 million or 19 percent above the FY 2009 enacted level, and $55 million more than the President's budget request. The 2010 funding level is 40 percent higher than the amount provided just two years ago in the 2008 budget. The increase has been approved by both the House and the Senate, and the President is expected to sign the omnibus appropriations bill later this month.
December 10, 2009 -
Population Discussed at Copenhagen Climate Conference As the Copenhagen conference on climate change enters its third day, the role of population is getting increased mention, though few expect voluntary family planning programs will play much of a role in any mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to be adopted.
July 10, 2009 -
20th Anniversary of the First World Population Day In commemorating the 20th Anniversary of first World Population Day, the Population Institute today urged policymakers around the globe to recommit themselves to the expansion of family planning and reproductive health services.
July 02, 2009 -
House Prepares to Vote on Increased Funding for Family Planning When the U.S. House of Representatives returns next week from its July 4th recess, it is expected to consider a $103 million boost in the level of international family planning assistance. The proposed increase is part of a larger appropriations bill providing funding for State Department activities and U.S. foreign assistance programs.
July 12, 2007 -
Overpopulation May Lead to Conflict While the world's average annual population growth rate of a little more than one percent is declining, most projections say the current global population of more than six-and-a-half-billion people will likely hit nine billion by 2050. The expectation that most of the growth will occur in poor countries worries some analysts who say overpopulation could lead to conflict.