Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham established 34 Million Friends of UNFPA in 2002 when the Bush Administration first announced they would withhold the $34 million that Congress allocated to UNFPA. Today the total amount of blocked funds stands at over $200 million.
The idea behind this project is to ask 34 million Americans to donate at least $1 and in turn, send a message that Americans support UNFPA.
UNFPA helps the most vulnerable women in the world plan their families, give birth safely, and protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. It promotes the rights of women by encouraging equal access to food, education, and healthcare. UNFPA works worldwide to eliminate gender-based violence including female genital cutting and rape used as a weapon of war. Show American support by becoming one of the 34 Million Friends and getting involved. People outside the United States (non-Americans) can donate at
Please spread the word far and wide.
Jane wrote a poem about 34 Million Friends that Liz Queler and Laurie Lewis wrote as a song now sung by music legend Odetta. See link above. Jane has also written a book called 34 Million Friends of the Women of the World.
There was a worldwide conference on Safe Motherhood in London October 18-20 2007. www.womendeliver.org Two thousand experts and policy makers on women's health came from around the globe to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. Sadly maternal mortality rates have remained relatively stagnant over that time. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, said on the first morning that policy makers have to believe that women's rights are human rights. Surely surviving childbirth in the 21st century should be a human right.
The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal put out a special edition for Women Deliver. On the front in big letters: "Since the human race began, women have delivered for society. It is time now for the world to deliver for women." Well said!
UNFPA GLOBAL POPULATION POLICY UPDATE
Issue # 87
6 April 2009
The 42nd session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) concluded last week with the adoption of a resolution on "The contribution of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development to the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals".
By the terms of the resolution, the United Nations' member states inter alia:
- Reaffirmed that the ICPD Programme of Action is integrally linked to global efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve development.
- Called upon governments in commemorating the 15th anniversary of the ICPD, to intensify actions to achieve over the next five years, the Cairo and Millennium Development Goals, especially targets 5a and 5b.
- Recognized the dire need to increase financial resources to implement the Programme of Action, especially for family planning.
In this regard, the Commission adopted the revised Cairo cost estimates proposed in the Secretary-General's report on financing of the ICPD Programme of Action. Below is a press release by UNFPA on the new estimates and link to the full report of the Secretary-General. Also, attached is a table with the costs for 2009-2015.
$64.7 BLN NEEDED FOR POPULATION PROGRAMMES TO CURB POVERTY
One third, $21.6 Bln, Expected from Donors, Two-Thirds Due as Domestic Funds
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 6 April 2009 - Investments of $64.7 billion are needed in 2010 for population programmes that are essential to reduce poverty, promote development and curtail maternal death, according to a revision approved by United Nations Members at the closing session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) late on Friday. One third of this sum, about $21.6 billion, is expected as international assistance, while the remaining two thirds would be domestic investments by developing nations.
The new figure of $64.7 billion is a major revision of the $20.5 billion (in 1993 United States dollars) for 2010 that was adopted at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). This is the first time in 15 years that the Cairo Programme of Action's cost estimates have been reviewed, as demanded by that global consensus.
A report of the United Nations Secretary-General says the revision was urgently needed due to the dramatic growth in current needs, with health-care costs skyrocketing and data collection costs rising, as many countries prepare for the 2010 round of censuses.
United Nations Members approved the new figures in recognition of the "dire need to increase the financial resources for the implementation" of the Cairo Programme, according to a resolution they adopted. They were particularly concerned about funding for family planning, which was far below requirements.
The $64.7 billion is broken into work categories adopted in Cairo. The total 2010 costs for sexual and reproductive health, which include family planning and maternal health, are estimated at $27.4 billion; $32.5 billion for HIV/AIDS; and $4.8 billion for basic research, data collection and policy analysis. The figures change annually, rising from some $67.8 billion in 2011 to $69.8 billion in 2015.
The new estimates more accurately reflect current needs and are more in line with the investments required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
In a statement delivered on her behalf by the Deputy Executive Director (Programme), Purnima Mane, Ms. Obaid said, "as the financial crisis unwinds, now is the time to increase social investment and redouble efforts for the ICPD agenda." The experiences shared by countries around the world, she added, "clearly showed that we are aware of the urgent need for intensified action and committed to the cause."
The key agenda before the Commission was the contribution of the Cairo Programme to the MDGs. The world's developing countries made the case when they said on the opening day: "the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action is crucial for the eradication of extreme poverty."
Speaking as the Group of 77 and China, they added that the Cairo consensus: "has a direct impact on the ability to achieve the MDGs linked to health and social and economic outcomes in the areas of children, mothers, HIV/AIDS, gender, poverty and employment."
A copy of the Secretary-General's report on, "The flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development" can be found at: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/215/67/PDF/N0921567.pdf?OpenElement
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can be found on UNFPA's website at: http://www.unfpa.org/parliamentarians/news/newsletters.htm.
Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 project under the patronage of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO.