International Organizations & Programs
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
The International Organizations and Programs (IOP) account funds U.S. voluntary contributions1 to the budgets of several international organizations. Maintaining U.S. investment in these organizations advances U.S. strategic and development goals across a broad spectrum of critical areas, and allows the U.S. to work with other countries to address problems that benefit from international coordination.
Through this account, the U.S. Government supports agencies that partner with the United States and leverage other resources to reduce poverty, promote global health, strengthen democracy and governance, promote human rights, and respond to humanitarian crises:
- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ensures the survival and well-being of children worldwide. UNICEF is a global partner in U.S.-supported efforts to eradicate polio and measles, immunize children, promote girls’ education, prevent mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission, improve nutrition, and protect children from violence, abuse, and exploitation. Request: $132 million.
- The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates international responses to humanitarian crises to better provide assistance to survivors. Request: $3 million.
- The UN Development Program (UNDP) is the UN’s primary development agency. Its programs combat poverty, promote democracy and rule of law, protect the environment, and support crisis prevention and recovery. Request: $80 million.
- UN Women helps meet the most urgent needs of women and girls by supporting women’s full participation in a country’s political, economic, and social life. Request: $7.7 million.
- The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is the largest multilateral provider of reproductive health services in the world. U.S. support for UNFPA bolsters its continued efforts to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS, and provide family planning assistance to women in over 150 countries. Request: $65 million.
- The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a key component of the Global Climate Change Initiative. U.S. participation and support help ensure countries meet commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote transparency, and disseminate clean energy technologies. Request: $11.7 million.
- The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights works to ensure the enforcement of universally recognized human rights norms, promoting the rule of law and ratification and implementation of major human rights treaties. Request: $5.5 million.
Using technology to reach babies born at home
Birth registration is critical to a child’s success, but often overlooked. A recent UNICEF report estimated that the births of only 230 million children under five were registered – one-third of all children under five around the world. Moreover, even if registered, many children have no proof of registration; in Eastern and Southern Africa, for example, only about half of registered children have a birth certificate.
Children unregistered at birth or without identification documents are often excluded from accessing education and health care. If children are separated from their families due to natural disasters, conflicts, or migration, reuniting them is more difficult without official documentation, leaving children more vulnerable to abuse and trafficking.
One problem is that many communities lack access to the official forms and processes needed to register a birth. In Uganda, where 58% of all births take place at home and not in clinics, UNICEF worked with the Ugandan government and Uganda Telecom to develop and test the Mobile Vital Records System (Mobile VRS), which uses mobile phone technology to complete birth registration procedures in minutes, a process that normally takes months.
Even in a remote village, a mother can simply report a birth to a local official, who enters the information via mobile phone to a central database. The official can subsequently verify the birth, and make any revisions to the birth record by mobile phone. That information immediately goes to a local registrar, who validates the information and issues a birth certificate.
The system began testing in 2011, and in 2013 Mobile VRS is now operational in all 135 government and missionary hospitals, and 36 out of 112 districts across Uganda. Birth registration increased from 30% in 2011 to approximately 48% today, with some districts using Mobile VRS registering more than 70% of births.
1“Voluntary” contributions differ from “assessed” contributions, which are requested by the United Nations and some of its agencies based the size of a country’s economy. Assessed contributions are included in the “Contributions to International Organizations” account.