Huge, huge news: Just now, at the Women Deliver conference in DC, Melinda Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committing $1.5 billion in grants toward maternal, newborn and child health over the next five years.
Specifically, these grants will 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.
Below is an excerpt from her remarkable speech:
Today, we are committing to make new grants totaling $1.5 billion over the next five years to support family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition programs in developing countries.
This new pledge will complement our spending in other areas that affect women’s and children’s health, such as developing and delivering children’s vaccines, and preventing pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.
I’m also making women’s and children’s health my personal priority as co-chair of the Gates Foundation.
My commitment to you is that I will continue to talk to leaders in rich countries about making funding pledges and following through on them. I will continue to talk to leaders in poor countries about making women and children a policy priority.
We will continue having this conversation about the work we’re doing together. We hold the future in our hands.
ONE’s Erin Hohlfelder is at the actual conference with Melinda now and will report back more soon.