Funding Timeline

The Process of U.S. Funding to UNFPA

From its inception, the then-UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) supported voluntary family planning and women’s health care. In 1987, the name of UNFPA was changed to the United Nations Population Fund, but its official abbreviation, UNFPA, remained the same. Like most United Nations agencies, UNFPA is funded primarily by the voluntary contributions of governments. Accordingly, the United States has been instrumental in supporting the work of UNFPA. U.S. Appropriations dictate the amount of money the United States will provide to UNFPA in a given fiscal year.

Appropriations for each fiscal year, (which begins on October 1st annually) are to be determined one year in advance. Political discourse can often impact the timing of passage, resulting in a delay of the implementation of the next fiscal year’s funding levels. Delays can take up to January of the covered year to go into effect.

The process for determining the level of U.S. contributions to UNFPA begins with the President’s annual International Affairs Budget Request for the future fiscal year. The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs then proposes a specified amount in funding for UNFPA, and their Senate counterparts on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee consider the same. Once approved by the full Committees in both houses, the Appropriations bill will head to the President’s desk for his signature. When Congress lacks sufficient time or the political cohesion to pass the bill separately, Appropriations is incorporated into one large omnibus bill.

The timeline featured below traces the history of funding from when UNFPA became operational in 1969 to the present day:

During President Richard Nixon’s Administration
1969 -
With the United States playing a lead role, UNFPA becomes operational to provide women's health care, including voluntary family planning, in low-income countries.

1970's - The United States is the largest contributor to UNFPA, matching all other contributions in the first several years of UNFPA's existence.

During President Ronald Reagan’s Administration
1985 -
Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY) and Senator Bob Kasten (R-WI) seek to add funding restrictions to the U.S. contribution to UNFPA to be incorporated into the language of the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The Kemp-Kasten Amendment is approved, barring U.S. funding for any international organization that the President determines "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or sterilization."

• The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) finds that UNFPA provides voluntary family planning and is not in violation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment.
• Congress approves $46 million in funding, but withholds $10 million, stipulating that no U.S. funds can be spent in China.
• The Reagan Administration decrees that UNFPA is in violation of Kemp-Kasten despite all indications that it is not, UNFPA funding for FY 1986 is withheld.

1986-1988 - No U.S. funds go to UNFPA.


During President George H. W. Bush’s Administration
1989-1992 -
No U.S. funds go to UNFPA.


During President William J. Clinton’s Administration
1993 –
Finding UNFPA to be in compliance with the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, President Clinton restores funding to UNFPA, and Congress appropriates $14.5 million for UNFPA.

1994 – Congress appropriates $50 million for UNFPA, but withholds $10 million, stipulating that no U.S. funds can be spent in China. UNFPA receives $40 million.

• Representatives from 179 governments meet at the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo to develop a landmark plan linking economic and social development with women's reproductive rights.
• ICPD identifies universal access to reproductive health services as a goal to achieve by 2015, naming UNFPA as the lead agency in helping nations implement this objective. ICPD Conferees pledge to invest $17 billion in women's health programs annually by 2000.

1995 - Congress appropriates $35 million for UNFPA. UNFPA does not renew its China program from 1995 through 1997 while negotiating with the Chinese government to eliminate the country’s birth limitation policies.

1996 - Congress appropriates $22.75 million to UNFPA, stipulating that no U.S. funds can be spent in China.

1997 -
Congress appropriates $25 million for UNFPA, withholding $5 million, stipulating that no U.S. funds can be spent in China.

1998 - China pledges to abandon coercive policies in 32 Chinese counties. UNFPA renews its program in those counties. Congress appropriates $25 million, withholding $5 million.

1999 - Congress zeroes out UNFPA funding in protest over renewal of programs in China.

2000 - Congress appropriates $25 million for UNFPA in FY 2001, withholding $3.5 million.


During President George W. Bush’s Administration
2001-
UNFPA receives $21.5 million from the United States after a withholding of $3.5 million as a dollar-for-dollar reduction for its work in China.

• The Bush administration gives $600,000 to UNFPA to provide emergency services to Afghan women refugees.

2002 –Citing a violation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, President Bush places a hold on the UNFPA appropriations for FY 2003, thereby effectively disregarding a 2002 U.S. State Department report which found no evidence that UNFPA had violated the Kemp-Kasten Amendment in China. The Bush Administration determines that UNFPA’s presence in China could be construed as involvement in China’s coercive policies. As a result, UNFPA receives no U.S. contribution for FY 2003.

2003 - Congress allocates $34 million to UNFPA for FY 2004, but the President withholds the funds.

2004 - Congress allocates $34 million to UNFPA for FY 2005, but the President withholds the funds.

2005 – Congress allocates $34 million to UNFPA for FY 2006, but the President withholds the funds, informing Congress at the last possible moment.

2006 - Congress allocates $34 million to UNFPA for FY 2007, but the President withholds the funds, again waiting until September 2007 to make the announcement.

2007 - Congress allocates $40 million to UNFPA for FY 2008 with language that requires the President to articulate his reason and justifications for withholding the contribution no later than six months after passage of the Appropriations bill. This $40 million brings a total of $235 million that has been allocated by Congress since 2002, but the funds are withheld by the Administration.


During President Barack Obama’s Administration

2008 – The United States resumes funding to UNFPA and approves $50 million for FY 2009 after a seven-year long absence in support. UNFPA ultimately receives $46.1 million.

2009 - For FY 2010, the President’s budget request proposes $50 million in support to UNFPA. Congress effectively increases the President’s proposed level by $5 million and ultimately earmarks $55 million in funding to UNFPA. However, UNFPA ultimately receives $51.4 million.

2010- For FY 2011, the President requests $50 million in support to UNFPA, which is identical to his request for the previous year in FY2010. The House Subcommittee approves $60 Million in funding to UNFPA. In considering their version of the bill, the Senate Subcommittee approves $55 Million in funding to UNFPA.


2011- For FY 2011, the President requests $50 million in support to UNFPA, which was identical to his request for the previous year in FY2010. The House Subcommittee of the 111th Congress approves $60 Million in funding to UNFPA. In considering their version of the bill, the Senate Subcommittee approves $55 Million in funding to UNFPA. A spending bill for FY2011 is carried over to the next Congress and following a number of Continuing Resolutions, the 112th Congress reaches an agreement that the U.S. contribution to UNFPA for FY2011 will be $40 million.

For FY2012, the President requests $47.5million in support to UNFPA. The House votes defund UNFPA for the second fiscal year in a row. The Senate approves $40 million. UNFPA ultimately receives $35 million for FY2012.


2012- For FY 2013, the President requests $39 million in support to UNFPA. The House Appropriations Committee votes to eliminate funding to UNFPA for the third fiscal year in a row. The Senate Appropriations Committee votes in favor of $44.5 million in funding to UNFPA. In September, Congress passes a Continuing Resolution, a temporary spending bill, which funds UNFPA at 2012 levels until March, 2013.

 

                                    

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