Press Release

Number of Countries Contributing to UNFPA Reaches New High in 2004

26 January 2005
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York—A total of 166 countries contributed to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in 2004 – a record high in the Fund’s 35-year history. The top six donors were the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Contributions to UNFPA regular resources in 2004 were $326 million (provisional), the highest total ever, passing for the first time the 1996 high of $300 million.

“This remarkable level of support from governments demonstrates their commitment to reproductive health and rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. “These priorities were agreed upon at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, and these investments are absolutely essential to save lives and reduce poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals.”

At the Cairo Conference, 179 governments and civil society organizations committed to a 20-year action plan to ensure universal access to reproductive health information and services, including family planning, and to uphold fundamental human rights, including reproductive rights. Last year’s anniversary of the Cairo Conference generated increased political and financial commitment. “This is yet another indication that United Nations Member States are fully committed to the Cairo agenda and to UNFPA’s efforts to implement it,” said Ms. Obaid.

The number of UNFPA donors has been steadily increasing over the last few years, from 69 in 1999, to 149 in 2003, to the new high of 166 in 2004. In addition, more than 40 countries pledged multi-year funding in 2004 – another record for UNFPA.

“UNFPA is heartened by this increased show of support from countries in every region of the world,” said Ms. Obaid. However, she added, “I must put these figures into perspective, because the issues addressed by UNFPA, such as HIV/AIDS, have become far more serious than we could have ever imagined. In other words, I consider it imperative that our regular income continues to grow over the next few years to the $400 million level. This will enable UNFPA to maintain its relevance in promoting reproductive and sexual health worldwide and to prevent HIV, particularly with respect to the world’s largest generation of adolescents.”

***

UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, the Fund has provided substantial assistance to developing countries, at their request, to address their population and development needs.

Contact Information:

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028
Email: gharzeddine@unfpa.org

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