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AID renews ties with IPPF as major foreign aid policy changes are seen. But UNFPA funds being temporarily withheld.
WASHINGTON MEMO. 1993 Dec 7; (19):1-2.The United States government and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reestablished their relationship in November 1993, and the United States Agency for International Development (AID) committed $75 million to IPPF, after nine years of official US hostility because IPPF would not renounce abortion-related research and services. The administration also delivered to Congress a final draft of its rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), with significant policy changes for international population aid. Preparations are underway for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where the US intends to participate in the world debate, AID has awarded IPPF $13.2 million for fiscal 1994. The Reagan and Bush administrations had concluded that the presence of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in China, where coercive abortion does exist, made UNFPA guilty by association. But the Clinton administration determined that UNFPA did not support abortion services at all. Nevertheless, the Justice Department withheld UNFPA's initial fiscal 1994 funds pending a hearing. The administrator of AID expressed his strong support for UNFPA as well as IPPF following the signing of the cooperative agreement between IPPF and AID. He emphasized that support for family planning would remain the core of the US program, and that information about family planning is a fundamental right. The Clinton administration seeks to connect family planning and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, safe motherhood, post-abortion contraceptive service, and the special needs of adolescents. A new FAA bill would encourage sustainable development by promoting economic growth, preserving the global environment, supporting democracy, and stabilizing world population growth. This will be the subject of congressional hearings in early 1994. The administration intends to eliminate the ban on the use of foreign aid funds for abortion, but the bill would continue to prohibit coercive abortion or sterilization. Because of severe budget constraints, AID has decided to close 21 mission offices overseas, reducing AID's presence to about 50 countries.