Pathfinder International Supports President Obama’s FY2014 Budget, Calls for Congress to Invest in Women’s Health
Yesterday, President Obama released his FY2014 budget recommendations. In it, the president calls for strong support for Global Health Initiatives, including a 3% increase over FY2013 (post-sequestration). Continuing the Obama Administration’s robust investment in the health and rights of girls and women, the budget includes increases for family planning and reproductive health programs, as well as maternal and child health.
“We know that access to family planning and reproductive health is critical for women’s health and well-being, and the president’s budget calls attention to that,” Purnima Mane, President and CEO of Pathfinder said. “We applaud President Obama’s increase for international family planning and reproductive health programs. These investments make a difference.”
For every $100 million the US spends on family planning, 1.5 million unintended pregnancies are avoided, 4,000 maternal deaths are prevented, and 20,000 fewer children lose their mothers. President Obama’s budget calls for family planning programs to receive $534 million, up 1% from FY2012.
“We also appreciate President Obama’s strong funding for gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as his continued support for the Office of Global Women’s Issues,” Purnima Mane said.
The Office of Global Women’s Issues is vital to efforts to fully integrate women’s issues into US foreign policy and works to promote stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world.
“This budget sends a strong signal that the US is invested in improving women’s lives,” Purnima Mane said. “Sadly, that commitment has been called into question over the devastating sequester cuts. While we have not yet felt the full impact, there is no doubt that the cuts will impact millions and women in developing countries will lose access to essential contraceptive supplies and services. Pathfinder encourages Congress to stand strong for women around the world and support President Obama’s calls for an increase in family planning and reproductive health programs.”
Take action, urge Congress to support international family planning in the FY2014 budget. Email your Senators and Representative today!
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Purnima Mane, president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder International, told IPS, “We are delighted the final set of [proposed] SDGs contains four critical targets on SRHR: three under the health goal and one under the gender goal. But we have not reached the finish line yet. We must all continue to raise our voices to ensure these SRHR targets are intact when the final version is approved."
A video provides a snapshot of Pathfinder International’s Health of People and Environment in Lake Victoria Basin project, an integrated population, health, and environment project supported by MacArthur. The project aims to reduce threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem degradation in the Lake Victoria Basin while increasing access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.