MacArthur has announced four grants totaling nearly $2 million in support of international policy work related to its population and reproductive health priorities.
The Foundation's Population and Reproductive Health area supports efforts that work to decrease maternal mortality and morbidity, and improve the reproductive and sexual health and rights of young people, with a special focus on supporting work in Mexico, India and Nigeria - countries where MacArthur has field offices.
To provide support to efforts on the ground in these target countries, the Foundation funds policy work at the international level to help civil society organizations advocate for needed changes in health, educational and legal policies to assure improved reproductive health for women and adolescents.
"We believe that to help slow the exponential growth of the world's population, we must work to influence policies that improve the reproductive health and advance the rights of women and adolescents worldwide," said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "These four grants are representative of our support for research on issues such as the factors influencing the number of women who die in pregnancy or the rates of teen pregnancy worldwide. The grants also reflect our interest in advancing efforts designed to decrease these rates and empower women and teenagers to make smart choices about their reproductive health."
"Support for international organizations helps create the political will to implement change at the national and even local level," said Carmen Barroso, Director of the Foundation's Population and Reproductive Health area. "We want to make sure that policies worldwide place women's well-being at the center of population policy and emphasize the rights of individuals to determine and plan their sexual and reproductive lives."
Recent grants in support of international organizations include:
A grant of $775,000 over three years was made to the Population Council in support of continued research, technical assistance, and policy education on a range of issues including abortion, safe motherhood, maternal mortality, and adolescent sexuality, with a special focus on Mexico.
A grant of $600,000 over three years was made to Catholics for a Free Choice to support efforts to ensure balance in the religious voices defending the population and reproductive health and rights agenda in national and international policy debates.
The International Center for Research on Women received a grant of $300,000 over three years in support of research and advocacy with U.S. policymakers on preventing early marriage, delaying the age of first pregnancy, and improving the health needs of married adolescents in the developing world.
A grant of $262,500 was awarded to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help devise a new strategic plan for advocacy and planning that takes into account recent fiscal constraints. As the world's largest international organization working on issues of population and reproductive health, it must be in a position to adjust to changing international priorities, including the new rights-based approach to population and reproductive health.