Take Action Tuesday: Here’s what you can do right now 4-11-17

Take Action Tuesday: Here’s what you can do right now 4-11-17

4/11/17

Defunding UNFPA is dangerous for everyone

Last week’s announcement that the State Department will immediately discontinue funding for UNFPA (the United Nation Population Fund, the agency that provides maternal and child health services in more than 150 countries) was a stunning move that will threaten the lives of women and children living in poverty.  It will undermine America’s ability to provide life-saving maternal and child healthcare and provide care for victims of rape and sexual violence, particularly in emergency, conflict and refugee settings. This puts those who are living in places like Syria – already ripped apart by terrible violence and conflict for over six years – at even greater risk.

UNFPA provides essential services to countless women and girls around the world, from Nepal to Syria to Yemen to the DRC. The organization works with communities to combat all forms of gender-based violence, including early and forced marriage and female genital cutting.  UNFPA is often the first to respond to humanitarian emergencies, providing clean birthing kits, emergency obstetric care, and other critical health services to women and families with nowhere else to turn. Cutting off funding to this critical organization will have very real and deadly consequences around the world. 

Abruptly ending critical and life-sustaining resources for the most vulnerable people on earth is tragically out of step with both our values and our interests. Family planning, maternal and child health, eradicating poverty, and creating a more peaceful world are as intricately linked with our own security as they are with our humanitarian principles.  Forcing some of these programs to shutter will not make us safer, but will, in turn, put greater numbers of individuals at risk.    

That’s why this week our Take Action Tuesday focus is all about educating ourselves and others and speaking up about how these issues connect to create a better, more stable world.  We’re depending on our advocates to help our communities, Members of Congress, and this Administration understand that de-funding UNFPA and the foreign assistance budget more broadly is dangerous for America, undercuts our role as a force for good in this world, and puts countless lives at risk.  You’re in, right?  Here’s what you can do today if you have:

5 minutes – Watch this video by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where mothers, daughters and grandmothers from all over the world talk about the role family planning plays in their lives.  Then, share the video with your social media networks.

10 minutes – Read CARE’s statement denouncing the State Department’s plan to defund UNFPA, share it on social media and email it to your Member of Congress.  Use it to start a conversation with friends and family.  Make sure they understand what’s at stake and ask them to join you in advocating for all the women around the world who depend upon UNFPA.

30 minutes – Dive into our brand new Advocate U.  If you’re new to advocacy, here’s your opportunity to learn how to advocate effectively for the issues you believe in. And if you’re already a pro, now you can take your advocacy to the next level. 

We hope you’ve already signed up to come to the CARE National Conference in DC, May 22 – 24.  If you haven’t – now is the time!  We need everyone to help us make a big presence on Capitol Hill during our lobbying day and a whole lot of noise throughout America that women’s lives, foreign assistance and global security are too important to mess with.

 

 

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