The UN Foundation, together with UNFIP, has worked in close collaboration with the Secretary-General’s office, WHO and UNICEF to support major initiatives to help advance women’s and children’s health. Over the years, the Foundation’s successful stewardship of campaigns on polio, measles, and malaria, as well as their active engagement in the Every Woman Every Child movement since its inception, has helped channel significant resources in support of UN global health efforts.
The Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States of America, together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), are continuing their efforts from 2012 to further increase the decline in child mortality over the next 20 years. In July 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with strong support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), catalysed more than $2.3 billion for family planning over the next eight years to cut the unmet need (i.e., the number of women who want access to family planning but do not have it) in half. In September, the United Nations Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children, supported by UNICEF and UNFPA and led by the Governments of Nigeria and Norway, launched a new global action plan to accelerate access to 13 neglected maternal, newborn and child-health commodities in the coming years.
The Measles & Rubella Initiative is a global partnership committed to ensuring no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome.
The Initiative aims to reach the measles and rubella elimination goals identified in the Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020 by supporting countries to raise coverage of measles, rubella and other vaccines; fund, plan, implement and monitor quality supplementary campaigns; investigate outbreaks, and provide technical and financial support for effective outbreak response. The Initiative is focused on supporting the goal of reducing global measles mortality by 95 per cent by 2015; and eliminating measles and rubella in at least five of the six World Health Organization Regions by 2020.
The Initiative is led by the American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Foundation. The UN Foundation has been a long-standing supporter of the Measles Initiative (renamed the Measles & Rubella Initiative in 2012) and continues to play an important role as both an advocate and fiduciary for the initiative.During 2013, a total of $52 million was disbursed by the UN Foundation through UNFIP to UNICEF and WHO in support of the Measles & Rubella Initiative activities around the world. Of this amount, $50 million was generated from partner funds and $2 million was from the UN Foundation core funds.
Polio is one of the few major diseases that is close to being eradicated, providing a unique public health opportunity to make a lasting contribution to humanity. WHO, UNICEF, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the support of donor governments, private sector foundations, including Rotary International, the UN Foundation and The Gates Foundation, are spearheading efforts to support the final stages of polio eradication through The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the largest international public health effort in history. As of end 2005, a total of $91 million had been approved for the Initiative that was launched in 1999. As of early 2006, the number of countries with indigenous polio had dropped to an all-time low of four, polio eradication efforts had entered a new phase involving the use of next-generation vaccines targeted at the two surviving strains of virus.
Incidence of Malaria death have dropped to a third of the 2005 rate, witht an estimated 627 000 deaths and 207 million episodes of malarial illness in over 100 countries. It particularly affects the most vulnerable: children of 5 years of age and under, who account for more than 90 percent of all deaths from malaria; pregnant women; and people infected with HIV/AIDS. A few examples of innovative partnership initiatives supported by UNF/UNFIP in the area of malaria prevention and control include:
Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. Nothing But Nets is an on-line giving platform that allows everyone to join the fight against malaria by giving $10, which will be used to purchase and send a bed net to malaria affected communities.
Nothing But Nets works with UNICEF, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization to purchase insecticide treated bed nets and distribute them to countries in Africa. Net distributions are typically part of a wider public health effort within a country coordinated by the Ministry of Health, the UN and other local and international organizations.
The campaign works with a diverse group of partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Basketball Association's NBA Cares, The People of The United Methodist Church, Major League Soccer's MLS WORKS, the Union for Reform Judaism and Junior Chamber International, among others.
During 2013, the UN Foundation disbursed more than $2.27 million through UNFIP to support the distribution of insecticide treated bed nets by UN agencies in Chad, Madagascar and South Sudan.
At the request of the Office of the Secretary-General, the UN Foundation continued to manage global advocacy and communications and lead outreach to the private sector around the Every Woman Every Child initiative. Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement, often considered a “model” for partnerships by advancing multi-stakeholder commitments to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.
The Shot@Life campaign educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives in developing countries. In 2013, the UN Foundation entered into a partnership with Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, to help provide life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries through a donation to the Foundation's Shot@Life campaign. For every vaccine administered during the flu season in the United States at Walgreens pharmacies, an amount equivalent to the price of one vaccine was donated to the campaign, primarily to fight polio and measles. During 2013, the UN Foundation disbursed, through UNFIP, approximately $75,000 mobilized partially from the Shot@Life campaign to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative led by WHO and UNICEF.