January 15th, 2007 15:52 EST
One hundred and eighty countries contributed $360 million
One hundred and eighty countries contributed $360 million to the regular resources of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) last year, the highest number of donors and the largest total since the organization began its operations in 1969 to promote a raft of activities from ensuring safe births to reducing poverty.
“We are very thankful for the continuous and growing support from nearly all United Nations Member States,” <"http://www.unfpa.org/news/news.cfm?ID=925">UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said today.
“We take this new record as a solid sign of the global commitment to our work and mandate. It also highlights the importance of sexual and reproductive health, as well as HIV prevention, for development.”
The number of UNFPA donor countries has steadily increased over the last few years, from 69 in 1999, to 172 in 2005, to last year’s record. The top six donors were the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Japan and Denmark. In addition, every nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as all sub-Saharan Africa, pledged funds to UNFPA in 2006.
In 2005, co-financing income, earmarked to specific projects, reached $158 million, which included contributions for two highly visible emergencies, the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.
Co-financing income in 2006 reached the same high level, even though there were no emergencies of the same scale. The number of donors committed to multi-year funding also rose from 55 countries in 2005 to 73 countries in 2006.
“Achieving universal access to reproductive health is vital for poverty eradication, and it requires partnerships and efforts from governments and the civil society,” Ms. Obaid said. “Seeing so many different countries supporting our work is heart-warming, and I hope this support will continue to grow in the years to come.”
UNFPA promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. It supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.