Orchid Project responds to “$1.4bn cost of FGC” findings from WHO

Thursday 06 February 2020

The World Health Organization has released a new “Cost Calculator” to coincide with the International Day to End FGC 2020. New modelling shows that female genital cutting (FGC) has a $1.4 billion USD annual cost to the global economy.

WHO’s findings are based on the cost of treating all resulting medical needs of survivors of the practice. For individual countries, these costs would near 10% of their entire yearly expenditure on health on average; in some countries, this figure rises to as much as 30%.

In response to the release of this important new evidence, Grethe Petersen, CEO of Orchid Project, commented: 

WHO’s vital new findings confirm what we already knew about female genital cutting’s far reaching and devastating impacts for girls, women and their communities. But now we have important evidence about the $1.4bn impact on countries’ economies every single year.
These costs make clear that investment to end FGC will result in huge benefit for all. But more resources are needed to accelerate grassroots abandonment of the cut. We must also include neglected regions such as Asia for us to reach the global target of ending the cut by 2030.

Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE, Founder & Ambassador of Orchid Project, added:

Ending the cut will transform millions of girls and women’s lives globally. It has the potential to avert child marriages, keep girls in education longer, and enable greater economic opportunities and empowerment for women.
That’s why Orchid Project has launched the Don’t Cut Her Short campaign today, to encourage public support for a global issue, and accelerate change to end FGC. We can truly transform women’s and girls’ lives for generations.

Interviewees available. 
Contact miranda@orchidproject.