EU Pledges Additional €45 Million to Support Global Sexual and Reproductive Rights for Women
The European Commission has announced an additional €45 million over six years for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Supplies Partnership to support sexual and reproductive health and rights – and women’s rights – worldwide. The Partnership saves and improves lives by delivering modern contraceptives and life-saving maternal health medicines to the women and young people who need them the most.
The announcement was made by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the margins of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.
UNFPA is the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, active in about 150 countries worldwide, providing support in strengthening their health systems to provide sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptive options, for all persons of reproductive age. The programme is set to cover 54 countries with high rates of maternal mortality and unmet family planning needs.
A statement from UNFPA said that the EU remains strongly committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s rights, as enshrined in the European Consensus on Development and the Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in External Relations.
EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said, ‘The EU is committed to the right of every individual to decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and their sexual and reproductive health – this is a core part of our global health policy. I am proud to support this right, in particular for women and young people, and very pleased to have signed a letter of intent for our additional contribution to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership of €45 million.’
The European Commission and EU Member States, as Team Europe, make significant contributions to the work of UNFPA work worldwide. Between 2012 and 2020, the European Commission supported UNFPA Supplies with €77.6 million. In 2021, the non-core contributions received by UNFPA from the European Commission increased by $9 million to $59 million.
- Besides the UNFPA Supplies Partnership, UNFPA programmes that the Commission supports include:
- The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women (UNFPA, UNDP and UN Women are the three core implementing agencies of the Spotlight Initiative)
- UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to End Child Marriage
- UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation
- UNFPA Global Programme on Addressing Gender-Biased Sex Selection (GBSS) and related harmful practices
- UNFPA humanitarian programming