The International Organizations and Programs account (IO&P) supports voluntary U.S. contributions to international organizations and specialized agencies across various development, humanitarian, and scientific activities.
What does it buy?
Funds contribute to international organizations that provide immunization, education, infrastructure, and programs to end violence against women and children.
Why is it important?
Examples of the organizations and programs funded by IO&P:
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works to ensure children’s survival and well-being worldwide.
In 2019, UNICEF provided access to essential services to prevent malnutrition in 307 million children, ensured 18.3 million people had access to safe drinking water, and responded to 281 emergencies in 96 countries.
The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates international responses to humanitarian crises to better aid survivors.
In 2019, OCHA mobilized $18 billion for response efforts targeting 117 million people globally.
The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) supports activities in more than 150 countries. It provides voluntary family planning information and services, training and deployment of skilled birth attendants and midwives, and works to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
UNFPA is the largest global provider of maternal and child health care in humanitarian emergencies. Between 2000 and 2017, funds helped reduce maternal deaths by 38%. However, 830 women around the globe still die during childbirth every day.
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion. It helps countries maintain development results by developing policies, leadership skills, institutional capabilities, and building resilience.
In 2019, UNDP created 5 million jobs—33% for women—and 24 million people in 22 countries gained access to financial services.
The U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women) undertakes programs, policies, and campaigns to end violence against women; promotes women’s economic empowerment and political participation; supports women and girls in humanitarian crises and conflict; and advances good governance.
In 2019, UNDP created 5 million jobs—33% for women.
Why should Americans care?
Organizations funded through the IO&P account amplify U.S. bilateral foreign assistance programs by leveraging contributions from other countries and donors.
The National Security Strategy and Joint Strategic Plan argues that international organizations “offer opportunities to build and lead coalitions that advance shared interests and articulate American vision.”
COVID-19 has threatened the nearly 100 million people who rely on support from the U.N.’s humanitarian agencies.
As the virus proliferates, several U.N. agencies have expressed concerns over potential human rights abuses due to current government lockdowns and warn of secondary effects that will affect their future work.
Disruptions to U.N. programs as a result of COVID-19 directly affect children, families, and the broader environment.
What more could be done?
An investment of $111 million to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) would support the U.S.’s fair share to fulfill the global unmet need for family planning funding. In developing regions, 214 million women and girls who want to avoid pregnancy for at least two years are not using modern contraceptive methods. Meeting the demand for family planning empowers women and girls to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Without reducing a contribution to any other organization or program within the IO&P account, additional funds for UNICEF could:
Immunize more children against preventable diseases, including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis, Haemophilus influenza (Hib), and measles.
Deploy more bed nets to save children from deadly mosquito-borne diseases.
Test and treat children for diseases, including HIV/AIDS and pneumonia.
Deploy and support midwives.
Funding levels may not accurately reflect those in the appropriations bills and/or reports due to rounding.