CNN reported on 27 July that calling it "debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning members of the House of Representatives that she "will recommend personally" that President Barack Obama veto a bill pending in the House that would severely restrict State Department operations, international organizations and foreign assistance. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, calls the bill's ban on funding for the United Nations Population Fund and attempt to reinstate the so-called "global gag rule," as Lowey and other opponents of the Mexico City Policy call it, an example of "outrageous, divisive policies." Read: CNN
RH Reality Check published a blog by Tamara Kreinen of the UN Foundation on 27 July arguing “By voting to reduce funding for international reproductive health and family planning activities, eliminate funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and reinstate the Global Gag Rule, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes threatens to turn back the clock on women’s health and has taken its disturbing war on women to a global stage. Investing in international family planning maximizes the impact of our foreign aid dollars and is critical to the health of women and their families around the world. The subcommittee’s plan to reduce funding of international reproductive health activities would undermine our strategic international development goals and would be detrimental to the health of women and newborns. When women are healthy and empowered, they can spark a ripple effect in their families, communities, and nations that can lead to lower rates of poverty and stronger economic growth and productivity. With its short-sighted decision to cut UNFPA funding, the subcommittee is crippling its best ally in promoting healthier families, prosperous and stable societies, environmental sustainability, and resource and food security across the globe.” Read: RH Reality Check
The Hill reported on 26 July that the House Appropriations Committee released a 2012 spending bill that slashes State Department funding and foreign aid. The bill also prohibits funding for the U.N. Population Fund, as well as needle-exchange programmes. “It is unacceptable that the majority proposes to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, which prohibits recipients of U.S. health assistance from providing the most truthful and comprehensive healthcare possible to women in need,” subcommittee ranking member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in reaction. Read: The Hill
La Prensa reported on 27 July that Siuna hosted the second territorial festival in 2011 coordinated by the Programa Voz Joven (“Young Voice) with the support of the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua and the sponsorship of UNFPA and the Embassy of the Netherlands and Finland. Youth and adolescents held a contest of communication, singing, painting, dancing and presenting a theater play, said Tania Green, coordinator of the Youth Programme in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN). Read in Spanish: La Prensa
Multiple media outlets on 27 July that Anna Komorowska, the First Lady of Poland, visited the National Screening Center‘s branch named after Maria Kaczyńska in Tbilisi supported by UNFPA and the Municipality of Tbilisi. The Polish guest was hosted by Maka Metreveli, spouse of the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Rema Gvamichava, Head of the Screening Center, and Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA’s Assistant Representative. Ms. Komorowska got acquainted with the cancer screening project being implemented by the National Screening Centre and was introduced to the methods of screening and treatment. The First Lady of Poland met with the members of the cancer survivors’ group, supported by the Embassy of Poland since 2009. "It is significant that such a type of Screening Centre exists, with the help of which it became possible to save many human lives. The National Screening Centre was established with the great effort of the First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs and it goes without saying that it is of great importance that today, the wife of the President of Poland is visiting it” - said Maka Metreveli, spouse of the Chairman of Parliament of Georgia. Read: 24 Watch in Georgian: Moanbe and Rustavi
IRIN reported on 27 July that health workers say an apparent rise in contraceptive use in Nigeria stems largely from a willingness by traditional and religious leaders in some regions to use their influence in promoting reproductive health. In the predominantly Muslim north, where contraceptive use has historically been far lower than the national average, the support of traditional leaders has helped change attitudes in communities where contraception was long regarded as taboo. Alhaji Sani Umar, district head of Gagi District, Sokoto State, in northwestern Nigeria, works with UNFPA to advocate for reproductive health in his community. Read: IRIN
Daily Times reported on 27 July that the UNFPA country office in Malawi sponsored an obstetric fistula camp at Zomba Central Hospital in Malawi this year where the vast majority of the 103 patients were from rural areas, with poor educational backgrounds. Veronica-Kamanga-Njikho, UNFPA Malawi gender officer was quoted saying that for every 100 women in Malawi, 50 of them got married before they reached the age of 18. In contrast, only seven out of 100 males got married before they reached 18. “For cultural and economic reasons, many women are unable to negotiate the timing and conditions under which sex occurs, particularly on the use of condoms, whether male or female,” she said.
ogooueinfos.com reported on 27 July on a donation by UNFPA Deputy Country Director Mariama Darboe Diop, of 4 million male condoms and 40,000 female condoms to Gabonese authorities. The main purpose of the donation is to enhance the national AIDS prevention efforts led by the government. The national AIDS prevalence rate is at 5.2 per cent in Gabon. Read in French: