DID YOU KNOW?
Jul 31, 2019
Did You Know?
That between 2014 and 2017 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with its contraceptive offerings prevented 48,500,000 pregnancies?
That these contraceptives averted 15,200,000 unsafe abortions?
That the contraceptive services prevented 125,000 maternal deaths?
That 57,385 fistula surgeries were performed with UNFPA support?
That UNFPA helped train 47,000 midwives?
That UNFPA helped 41,000,000 people access reproductive health services in the worst of humanitarian circumstances? (Syria-Yemen-Myanmar etc.)
That 1,750,000 girls were reached through the joint UNFPA-UNICEF program to end child marriage?
That UNFPA helped to spare 800,000 girls from female genital mutilation?
That UNFPA helped 39,500,000 adolescents gain access to reproductive health services?
That the State of World Population 2018 put out by UNFPA is titled THE POWER OF CHOICE: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition?
That the use of the word CHOICE is quite daring in that in the U.S. it generally means the right to choose abortion?
That UNFPA was NOT using it in this way but in the way of all choices that individuals make to better their own lives?
Did you know that the “demographic transition” happens when people can choose whether, when, and how many children to have, and that when people CHOOSE to have fewer children there are fewer children to support, and nations can divert more resources to education and capital investment? And that this investment stimulates economic growth and productive employment (for both men and women) which alleviates poverty?
That this linking of the fertility transition to economic growth is known as a “demographic dividend”?
No, you probably didn’t know all that. That’s OK! But it is an extremely important concept and the great majority of countries on the planet are on this path.
This transition is slow to develop particularly in Africa. I visited Senegal and Mali in 2003 (quite a few years ago n’est-ce-pas?) with UNFPA because I had started the movement known as 34 Million Friends (www.34millionfriends.org). George Bush had refused to release the U.S. $34 million contribution to UNFPA so I was asking 34 million Americans for one dollar. It’s still going and we’re at a lovely $4.4 million. What I saw was quite discouraging although the people were wonderful. I saw children, children, children and pregnant women everywhere. I think at that time the fertility rate in Senegal was about 5.5 children per woman and over 7 close to 8 in Mali. Seventeen years later it is 4.6 children per woman in Senegal and 5.9 in Mali. The poverty was immense. It is hard to see a robust and rapid demographic transition happening in these countries and in sub-Saharan Africa in general. I think this is tragic.
And finally DID YOU KNOW that all Republican presidents in the U.S. since Ronald Reagan have refused a U.S. contribution to UNFPA?
That this includes Donald Trump who was a member of an honorary committee WITH ME in 2002 supporting UNFPA? (Go figure!)
AND that I would be elated if you were to visit the web site www.34millionfriends.org and spread the word a bit at this end of the year giving season?
Did you know that a very small gift to UNFPA, considering what it does around the world for women’s health, education, and equality, is probably the most worthwhile, long term meaningful gift you can give for people, the planet, and peace?
Yeah, you knew that!