$40 million secured for women and children's health.

The lives of up to 16 million women and children could be saved after funding promises totalling 40 million dollars were fulfilled. The contributions were made to the UN’s Global Strategy on Children’s and Women’s Health. The programme was adopted at the Millennium Development Goals or MDG Summit in New York last September. Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Duration: 2’04”

NARR: Last year’s Anti-poverty Summit established that maternal and child health is one of the most neglected 8 Millennium Development Goals or MDGs.

With huge numbers of women and children dying around the world from preventable deaths, a collective decision was made to reverse this trend.

40 million dollars have been pledged to improve the health of women and children worldwide.

The lives of 16 million women and children are expected to be saved. The money will also protect 120 million children from pneumonia, and advance the control of deadly diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS by 2015.

But the situation still looks bleak, fears Tanzania’s President Kikwete.

“Africa with about 12% of the world population accounts for 50% of the global maternal deaths, and 49% of the death of children under 5. Together Asia and Africa account for 92% of the world’s death of under 5 children. These staggering statistics are a stark reminder of the enormity of the challenge with regards to reducing maternal and child health facing poor developing countries.”

Never in the history of aid and development, has there been such a spotlight focused on the health of women and children, says the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, a strong advocate for women and children’s health programs.

“Improvement to the health, education and living condition of millions of women and children will mean a wave of hope that will ripple throughout the developing world…and real progress for all of humanity.”

Canada’s Stephen Harper and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania are co-chairs of a high level Commission set up by the UN to keep track of and account for the resources donated to the strategy.

The Commission is tasked with following the money, seeing how it is spent and providing evidence to show which programmes are the most effective.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Filed under Today's Features.
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