The UK, UN population fund's largest donor, is cutting funding for contraceptives and reproductive health supplies by 85% this year – from £154m to £23m – and cutting core funding from £20m to £8m. UNFPA said the £130m that has been withheld would have helped prevent a quarter of a million child and maternal deaths, 14.6 million unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions.
One headline in the Swiss daily newspaper Luzerner Zeitung originally read: “This grandmother will become the boss of the WTO.” The headline was later changed.
The money will be divided between the UN population fund (UNFPA) and UN Women, and at least 30% of it must be given to women-led local organisations that prevent violence and help survivors access medical and legal help, family planning, mental health services and counselling.
Russia has introduced a new UN security council resolution that could threaten the rights of women in conflict by attempting to water down previously agreed commitments on human rights. Voting is expected to play out along geopolitical lines, with China backing Russia, which currently holds the presidency of the security council. It is unclear how the UK and other western states, including France and the US, will vote.
The failure of leaders to take into account the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women, and their roles in lessening its harm, will mean a long, slow recovery that could cost the world economy trillions of dollars, Melinda Gates has warned.
Additional Sources: Maternal mortality
The cost of preventing women from dying in childbirth is projected to increase sixfold by 2030, requiring billions of dollars to achieve global targets, according to the UN. The estimate was released by the UN population fund (UNFPA) on Thursday, offering a snapshot of the scale of the challenge the agency has set itself to end preventable maternal deaths by 2030.