WASHINGTON, March 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On March 8 the NGO Population Institute will publish a new report on why the U.S. should increase its financial and policy support for sexual health and reproductive rights (SRHR) around the world. An advance copy of the report is posted here. International Women’s Day is March 8 and President Biden’s proposed FY2024 budget is slated to be released on March 9. 

The report, “Connecting the Dots: Sexual and reproductive health and rights as prerequisites for global gender equality and empowerment,” calls on the U.S. to nearly triple its allocations for bilateral family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs, as well as its core contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), from a total of $607.5 million, unchanged over the last decade, to $1.736 billion, including $116 million for UNFPA.

That’s the total amount estimated by the SRHR group PAI as the fair-share level of U.S. investment that would close the gap for the nearly 218 million women of reproductive age who have an unmet need for modern contraception in the Global South.

“Now is an opportune time to invest,” the report concludes. “Today there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10-24 – the largest generation of youth in history…. [It’s] critical…to keep pace with the SRH needs of this generation. But it will take a commitment from the U.S. to reestablish its leadership on global SRHR through robust investment – both financially and politically.”

“This is an important time for the U.S. to increase its investment in the SRHR agenda,” said Population Institute president and CEO Kathleen Mogelgaard. “The world’s population recently surpassed 8 billion people, reminding us that the scale of human needs will only continue to grow. U.S. investment in international family planning has stagnated amid these growing needs, leaving millions behind.”

“It is critical that policymakers shift their mindsets from seeing SRHR as a siloed and contentious public health issue to seeing it as a prerequisite for advancing gender equality and empowerment,” said Bridget Kelly, Population Institute’s director of research for SRHR and one of four co-authors of the report. “Policymakers determining U.S. foreign assistance priorities need to understand how gender equality and empowerment objectives are impacted by access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.”

Contact: Stephen Kent, [email protected]

SOURCE Population Institute

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