USAID and Partners Unveil New Efforts to Save Millions of Women and Children from Preventable Deaths

Three-year-old Ajoy is malnourished, and his father's salary as a tailor only provides enough money each month to buy poor quality vegetables and rice.
3-year-old Ajoy is malnourished, and his father's salary as a tailor only provides enough money each month to buy poor quality vegetables and rice. New efforts to support maternal and child health could help children like Ajoy and others around the world live longer, healthier lives. (Courtesy: World Vision)

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will announce today that it is realigning $2.9 billion of the Agency’s resources to save up to half a million children from preventable deaths by the end of 2015—refocusing resources on high-impact programs with proven track records to save the most lives.

USAID will also release a transparent action plan that reveals how the Agency, working with the global community, will prioritize results for the most at-risk families in the most vulnerable countries. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will announce these goals today, along with more than $600 million in new public/private partnerships and awards with 26 partners and representatives from the governments of all 24 priority countries (most at the ministerial level) at the Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths forum in Washington, D.C.

“Every day this year, 17,000 more children will live—and 700 more mothers will survive childbirth—than 20 years ago,” said Shah. “Right now, we are partnering with engines of innovation — corporations, foundations, NGOs, faith-based communities, entrepreneurs and local leaders—to solve one of the greatest development challenges: ending extreme poverty and build thriving, resilient societies. We know that, by working with the global community, we can end preventable child and maternal deaths, which is critical to our own national security, economic prosperity and moral leadership.”

The Acting on the Call forum is co-hosted by the Governments of Ethiopia and India, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners. Honoring the commitments made at the Child Survival: Call to Action in 2012, where countries around the world signed a pledge to end preventable death, global health leaders from governments, faith-based organizations, civil society and the private sector will assess recent efforts aimed at reducing child and maternal deaths and plot a new course that will ensure progress continues.

Since 2009, the United States has invested more than $13 billion in child and maternal survival—a 56 percent increase in annual funding. Now, after a careful review of every dollar spent across 24 countries, USAID is aligning its resources with those of partner countries—creating a double-down effect on targeted efforts to reduce child and maternal deaths.

Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and Malaria, worked for 18 months with Shah and a panel of esteemed business, health and development experts and bipartisan former Congress members to identify opportunities for improved efficiency and effectiveness that will realign $2.9 billion of the Agency’s resources by the end of 2015 to save up to 500,000 children from preventable deaths. The panel also strongly recommended that USAID centralize decision making and restructure procurement processes by establishing a maternal and child health coordinator, following the model of USAID’s own President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The proposed coordinator would be tasked with overseeing USAID’s near- and longer-term goals for impact, as well as working to gain greater contracting and operational efficiency, and have substantially greater budgetary and approval authority. This panel review and recommendations are a part of the longer-term initiative USAID has undertaken over the course of several years—a series reforms that position the Agency to lead the fight to end extreme poverty around the world.

In addition, USAID will announce more than $600 million dollars in new partnerships and awards with more than 26 partners, including:

  • USAID and Jhpiego, along with a consortium of global organizations, will announce a new $500 million flagship award, USAID’s “Maternal and Child Survival Program.” The program is will ensure that the women, newborns, and children most in need have equitable access to quality health care services. The program will also help to save lives by supporting the introduction, scaling, and sustainability of high-impact reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health interventions.
  • USAID will announce that it has joined an important partnership with Project Last Mile, alongside The Coca-Cola Company and its Foundations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, and Global Environment and Technology Foundation. In support of Project Last Mile, USAID and partners will expand the project by investing more than $21 million to help provide access to critical medicines and medical supplies to African communities in 10 countries, up from two. The project has already made a significant impact—in Tanzania, the government has reorganized and expanded its distribution system from 150 drop-off points in 2010 to 5,500 health care facilities now.
  • USAID, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and pediatric associations of Nigeria, India, and Ethiopia will announce the “Helping 100,000 Babies Survive and Thrive” partnership, a new initiative aimed at saving at least 100,000 newborn lives each year in partnership with Laerdal Global Health, Johnson & Johnson, the Government of Norway, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is an expansion of the Survive and Thrive Global Development Alliance, which was announced at the 2012 Call to Action.
  • Working with key partners such as USAID, Johnson & Johnson will reaffirm its dedication to create a world in which no baby dies from a preventable cause through the launch of a new 5-year, $30 million commitment to save more newborn lives. As part of this, Johnson & Johnson will contribute $1 million to the new USAID-led initiative “Helping 100,000 Babies Survive and Thrive.”
  • Tore Laerdal, managing director of Laerdal Global Health and executive director of Laerdal Foundation, will announce a commitment of $55 million in support of USAID ‘s public private partnerships, including the new Helping 100,000 Babies Survive and Thrive, and other partners’ efforts to end preventable newborn and maternal deaths.

Join the live stream of this event today beginning at 10:00am ET at:

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them 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 or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


  • More than $600 million in major public/private partnerships and awards with 26 partners to improve maternal and child survival to be announced