The House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday approved the single largest increase ever in funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs. The subcommittee approved $648 million for these programs in the 2010 fiscal year appropriations bill.
If enacted, this appropriation would represent a 9 percent increase above President Obama’s request of $593.4 million, and a 19 percent increase over the 2009 fiscal year allotment of $545 million. It also marks a 40 percent increase in funding over the past two years. The funding includes $588 million for USAID programs and a $60 million contribution to the UN Population Fund.
In a blog post, Feminist Majority Foundation Global Programs Coordinator Anushay Hossain wrote, “While this is very, very good news, especially given the current economic climate, it is not near what is actually needed to save as many women’s lives on the ground as possible.” The International Family Planning Coalition, in which the Feminist Majority Foundation plays a key role, advocates for an international family planning budget of $1 billion.
Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said in a press release (see PDF), that the funding will “help reduce unintended pregnancies and infant mortality through increased family planning and reproductive health initiatives for developing nations.”