LIMA, December 3, 2002 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Peruvian government has objected strenuously to an $18 million (CAD) development grant from the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) which centered on “sexual and reproductive rights”. The grant laid out a plan to set up an independent and parallel organization to Peru’s Ministry of Health (MOH) which would oversee the funds provided by DFID. Among the five groups which DFID put forward to oversee the use of the funds were at least four groups known to promote the abortifacient morning after pill which is illegal in Peru: Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan, Demus, and Care Peru. The Health Minister Fernando Carbone and Peruvian Prime Minister Luis Solari have both spoken with UK representatives in an attempt to have the program better comply with Peruvian law and government priorities. The MOH is concerned that the design of the program would threaten the effectiveness of the Ministry and make it harder for the Ministry to comply with its duty to oversee national health issues, for which it is constitutionally responsible, by creating a parallel effort to that of the Ministry.
A source close to the MOH told LifeSite, with pointed reference to the former Fujimori regime’s forced sterilizations, that “In the past, policies on sexuality were adopted which emphasized numbers, rather than the importance of the person himself or herself, which ended up causing clear violation of human rights and dignity.” The MOH is concerned that these groups pre-selected by DFID maintain an ongoing antagonism to the MOH.
The Prime Minister told the media, which had falsely reported that he had rejected the DFID grant, that the grant was still being negotiated. However, he warned that Peru will not accept donor countries imposing health policies.