ADDIS: UN and partners launch key financing platform to end maternal, child mortality

In Bhujpura, India, a team of vaccinators knock on doors and check if any child did not receive the polio vaccine. Each house is marked accordingly so that they have a record of the work completed. © UNICEF/INDA2015-00025/Biswas

13 July 2015 – The United Nations and its partners today launched a new initiative to help end maternal and child mortality by 2030, as they gathered in Addis Ababa for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) will support Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health and the Sustainable Development Goals that world leaders are expected to adopt in September.

“Our vision is clear: to end all preventable maternal, child and adolescent deaths within a generation and ensure that women, children and adolescents thrive,” Mr. Ban said at the launch, where he was joined by the World Bank Group, and the Governments of Canada, Norway and the United States as well as national and global health leaders.

“Ending extreme poverty and promoting development and resilience entails ensuring the survival, health, well-being and economic opportunity of women, children and adolescents everywhere,” he added.

“They are our greatest untapped resource for driving the transformative SDG agenda.”

It was also announced that $12 billion in domestic and international, private and public funding has already been aligned to country-led, five-year investment plans for women's, children's and adolescents' health in the four GFF front-runner countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

The next group of eight countries to benefit from the Facility will be Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda.

“Investing in saving and improving the lives of women, children and adolescents is not only a moral imperative, it makes economic sense,” said Mr. Ban. “It reduces poverty; it stimulates economic productivity and growth; it creates jobs. It helps women, children and adolescents realize their fundamental human rights to health, well-being and a sustainable future.

“But despite compelling evidence, public and private sector financing for women's and children's health has not been adequate,” he noted, adding that without additional investment, the ambitious new sustainable development goals will not be reached.

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