6 January 2006

Record Number of Countries Contributed to UNFPA in 2005

(Reissued as received.)

NEW YORK, 5 January (UNFPA) -- More countries contributed to the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in 2005 than in any year since its establishment in 1969, bringing the number of donor nations to 171, compared to the 2004 record of 166.  Every nation in Africa pledged funds to the UNFPA in 2005.  Contributions to the UNFPA regular resources last year were also the highest ever -- increasing to $350 million (provisional) from the previous year's level of $322 million.  The top six donors were the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Japan and Denmark.

"We are extremely thankful for this overwhelming show of support from United Nations Member States", said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.  "This is the clearest demonstration of their commitment to achieving universal access to reproductive health and ending discrimination against women -- as they resolved to do during the World Summit."

At the World Summit in September 2005, leaders agreed to integrate access to reproductive health into national strategies designed to end poverty, reduce maternal death, promote gender equality and combat HIV/AIDS.

Over the past few years, the number of UNFPA donor countries has steadily increased, from 69 in 1999; to 149 in 2003; to last year's new high of 171.  2005 also marked a record year for contributions earmarked to specific projects -- a total of $142 million compared to $131 million in 2004. The number of donors committed to multi-year funding also rose, from 49 countries in 2004 to 55 countries in 2005.

"This increased support from Governments in every region of the world reflects their solid confidence in UNFPA and its work", said Ms. Obaid.  "I hope that more and more countries come on board and that our regular income will continue to grow so that UNFPA can more effectively promote reproductive and sexual health and HIV prevention, particularly among adolescents."

The United Nations Population Fund is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.  The UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

For more information, please contact:  Omar Gharzeddine, tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028, e-mail:  gharzeddine@unfpa.org .

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