Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New video: spend foreign aid on malaria relief, not condoms

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, March 29, 2011 ( - A new video by the Population Research Institute is taking the government to task for failing to keep a promise to aid the fight against the malaria epidemic, and instead increasing money for population control programs abroad.

The video is the first of a new campaign, Project Real Need, highlighting the abuse of valuable foreign aid funds that have been funneled towards condoms and other programs designed to control foreign populations. Among the recipients of such funds is the United Nations Population Fund, which lost U.S. funding during the Bush administration when investigations confirmed its complicity with China’s coercive population control policies. President Obama reinstated that funding shortly after taking office.

“One of the things we’ve always done at PRI is carefully monitor what kinds of ‘foreign aid’ our government spends its funds on,” PRI Director of Media Production Colin Mason told Tuesday. “Family planning doesn’t just hurt women and families directly, it harms them indirectly by taking precious funds away from legitimate aid programs.”

The PRI video points out that the U.S. government had pledged $1 billion annually for malaria relief, but hasn’t kept that promise since 2008. At the same time, funding for family planning continues to outstrip funding for stopping malaria, with $716 million going to family planning in 2011, compared to $625 million for malaria relief.

Mason said Project Real Need was intended to “refocus the debate” in order to “create some common ground, where people who wouldn’t normally agree with us can see why we find family planning projects so problematic.”

“Public money is just that: public,” said Mason. “It should be spent on things that the public can agree on, and there are plenty of those things around,” such as clean water, malaria relief, child survival and attended births.

“The so-called ‘reproductive health’ lobby has somehow convinced our government that it’s more important to give taxpayer dollars to a goal that is as controversial as it is indefinite, than it is to keep our promise to the 3.3 billion humans currently at risk for contracting malaria,” added PRI’s Editor and Webmaster Joseph Powell. “[That] promise that was not only endorsed by both political parties, but has a clear goal, an achievable timeframe, and methods have been proven effective at eliminating the disease.

“The children dying of malaria every day have a real unmet need for our assistance; we think that need should answered.”

Mason and Powell are the same team behind the Overpopulation is a Myth videos, which have received hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. The videos, presenting the essential arguments against population control with a dash of quirky humor, delighted an audience of student pro-life leaders at a screening at the Students for Life of America Conference last January.