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President’s Page: Secretary Powell Cuts $25 Million More from UNFPA

On September 30, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cut another $25 million from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for 2003. Last year (2002), Secretary Powell determined that UNFPA was helping the government of Red China to carry out its population program of forced abortion more effectively, in violation of the Kemp-Kasten amendment which prohibits U.S. funds from going to groups that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Three Investigations

Powell’s determination followed three international investigations of UNFPA operations in China, all of which found evidence of coercion in UNFPA county programs. UNFPA continues to deny these charges, and to expand its support of China’s one-child policy.

The 2003 funding cut happened to fall on the same day that PRI investigators located the desk of the U.N. administrator of the UNFPA county program in Sihui in 2001. That desk, which PRI investigator Josephine Guy photographed, was in the same office as the Chinese officials who enforce the one-child policy in that UNFPA program. A short distance from that desk, in a county where UNFPA told Congress coercion had ended, Miss Guy obtained over two dozen testimonies from witnesses and victims who said that coercion was as bad today in this UNFPA program as ever in the history of the one-child policy. Miss Guy obtained taped statements from several people who were imprisoned, fined heavily and had their homes destroyed — about a mile from the Office of Family Planning — for attempting to hide the “illegal” pregnancy of a Chinese woman.

Like last year, the $25 million will be transferred into the Child Survival account at USAID, where it is hoped that it will be spent on basic life-saving aid like child rehydration, immunization and attended births. Unfortunately, House and Senate pro-abortion lawmakers (Rep. Kolbe and Sen. Leahy) may attempt to put a hold on the $25 million so USAID will not able to spend it on saving lives.

Women are Real Winners

The real winners of this decision not to fund UNFPA for 2003 are the women of the world, who are emboldened by the U.S. decision not to fund groups that collaborate with coercive and inhumane population controllers.

Unfortunately, there is bad news as well on the population control front.

In May, President Bush signed into law the Global HIV/AIDS bill (HR 1298). Over the course of the next few years, $15 billion will be spent on new programs designed to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to provide life-extending care to millions infected with the disease. The law mandates that 55% of the overall funding will go for basic medical treatment. Even more importantly, 33% of the overall prevention funding must go to abstinence programs. No money would go to groups that advocate the legalization of prostitution. Oversight of the U.N. Global Fund (GF) would be required. Genuine faith-based groups, like Catholic healthcare facilities and hospitals throughout Africa, could not be denied funding because they are morally opposed to condoms. A new AIDS coordinator, outside of the USAID bureaucracy, would run the program. It was a step away from the failed AIDS policies of the past, which have arguably fueled the spread of the disease. Now, all of this has changed however. Due largely to aggressive population control lobbying, none of this money will go to new programs. The Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill (S1426) effectively nullified each and every one of the new provisions in the Global AIDS bill, new provisions that are intended to make the U.S. effort to combat HIV/AIDS truly effective. The $15 billion has been redirected towards the USAID Child Survival Account which, despite its attractive name, funds population control programs and family planning clinics.

Actions Taken

  • Nullified in the Appropriations bill is the cap on the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund, which wisely restricted the U.S. contribution to this global boondoggle to one-third of the overall Global Fund budget. One of the partners of this fund is the UNFPA, a group that supports forced abortion in China.
  • Nullified are salary caps for lavishly compensated Global Fund executives, along with the General Accounting Office oversight of expenditures required in the original legislation.
  • Nullified is a provision in the Global AIDS Relief law designed to prevent funds from going to states that sponsor terrorism.
  • Nullified is the 10% cap on administrative expenses, At present, approximately fifty percent of GF HIV/AIDS money goes to red tape, at the expense of life-saving programs in the field.
  • Nullified are the required reports to Congress.
  • Nullified are the crucial conscience exemptions for faith-based grantees who don’t want to promote condoms.
  • Nullified are the prohibitions against funding for groups that promote the legalization of prostitution.
  • Nullified is the 55% amount for medical treatment or prevention.

All the money is now free to go to USAID’s favored family planning groups, which have so spectacularly failed to halt, and may actually be fueling, the AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Africa. The solution is clear: All new HIV/AIDS money must be moved away from USAID’s Child Survival account and back into the hands of the new AIDS Coordinator.

The Global AIDS Initiative must not be hijacked. Too many lives are at stake.

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