Today’s announcement means more children will reach their fifth birthdays…but tomorrow the fight must resume for the millions left behind
June 25, 2010, TORONTO—The G8 leaders inch toward progress, yet leave millions of children out in the cold with the underfunded Muskoka Initiative for Maternal and Child Health, says international Christian humanitarian organization World Vision, after heads of state meeting in Canada today announced a pledge of $5 billion over five years for maternal and child health programs globally.
“We came here hopeful, with the summit’s leadership putting the world’s children and mothers on the G8 agenda, and talk of committing new resources to save their lives,” said Robert Zachritz, director of government relations for World Vision U.S. “But the Muskoka Initiative looks more like a down payment than an adequate investment, and won’t reach as far as it must to stop needless deaths.”
The announcement did not specify each country’s contributions. Details are still needed to know whether the G8 funding announced today truly represents new resources or includes money taken away from other programs, shortchanging prior promises.
“We didn’t hear today what the specific U.S, portion of the total is. But World Vision is concerned that even President Obama's current funding request for global health may falter in Congress because of the tight budget environment. At a minimum, Congress must step up to approve existing global health funding requests, taking shared responsibility for America's commitment to the world's most vulnerable children and mothers.”
- Last year, 8.8 million children and at least 350,000 women died, most from preventable causes. Malnutrition and lack of access to basic health care underlie many of these deaths
- Pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria were top killers of children, while women die in pregnancy and childbirth due to lack of food, pre- and post-natal care, or emergency help when they need it
- Annual global health funding of $42.5 billion by 2015, including a doubling to $16 billion a year for maternal and child health, is required to fill funding gaps.
- This money will help millions of children get the vaccinations, healthy food, and access to essential health care close to home, where they need it. It will help also ensure thousands of mothers aren’t going through pregnancy and childbirth alone. But it falls short of the sum required to reach all communities that need access to basic health services.
For more on Child Health Now and World Vision’s public actions around the summit, see http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/emergency-presskit-G8-povertyWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.