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Published: 7 June 2010
Commitment Sets Bar for Upcoming G8 Summit
Washington D.C. - ONE today welcomed an announcement by Bill & Melinda Gates to commit $1.5 billion toward maternal, newborn and child health. The announcement comes nearly two weeks before G8 leaders will meet in Huntsville, Canada to forge a new maternal and child health initiative aimed at saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of mothers and millions of children.
Speaking at the Women Deliver Conference in Washington, D.C., Melinda Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $1.5 billion over five years to design integrated health programs for women to address multiple needs. Specifically, these grants include training frontline health care workers, introducing low-cost, effective interventions to stem newborn infections and treat birth complications, and educating mothers about simple lifesaving practices like keeping newborns warm with their body heat.
"Bill and Melinda Gates' commitment sets the bar for G8 leaders as they consider what will be the scale and scope of their own country's commitment this month at the so-called Muskoka Summit," said David Lane, CEO of ONE, the global anti-poverty advocacy group. "The targeted interventions included in the $1.5 billion demonstrate that countries can bring different contributions to the table, but that those contributions should be specific, results-based and coordinated for maximum impact."
"With respect to Canada's reported $1 billion commitment, I hope today's announcement will encourage Prime Minister Harper to scale up his own proposal, release specific details about where the money will be directed, and confirm that this is a new source of funding as opposed to redirecting existing funds, said Lane.
To make a significant impact in maternal and child health, ONE has called on Canada's leadership to at least double its targeted bilateral assistance in order to meet the need for trained health care workers, health clinics and infrastructure. This would be in addition to the full funding of both the Global Fund and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). This latter funding is critical in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and cutting child deaths in half by 2015.
"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation represents the new and non-traditional partners needed to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, which include targets for reducing maternal and child mortality," said Lane. "With the UN Summit to evaluate progress of these goals in September, ONE encourages a fresh focus on how we can reach these poverty-cutting targets in the next five years."
Commitments must also be based on accountability, and ONE has advised the G8 to incorporate "TRACK principles" which calls for new promises to be Transparent, Results-orients and Accountable, while also articulating any Conditionalities and mapping out a strategy to ensure that will be Kept.
This announcement comes on the heels of a $10 billion commitment by the Gates Foundation toward a "decade of vaccines" with significant investments in GAVI and other organizations critical in the development and distribution of lifesaving vaccines.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org
over five years to design integrated health programs for women to address multiple needs.
said David Lane, CEO of ONE.
by the Gates Foundation toward a "decade of vaccines" with significant investments in Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.