20 February 2019

World Bank


Commitment Progress

The World Bank’s commitment to improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) outcomes is evident in its support to the issue at global, regional, and country levels. Since the 1970s when the Bank issued its first loan for family planning to Jamaica, to endorsing ICPD 1994, and to more recent commitments made toward the UNSG’s Global Strategy, and launch of the Global Financing Facility, this commitment has remained strong.

The Bank continues to work across regions with countries to support the provision of quality RMNCAH services, including immunizations, nutrition, family planning, skilled-birth attendants, and emergency obstetrics and neonatal care. Between FY14 and FY16 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016) the Bank committed more than US$ 7 billion for health, nutrition and population. Of this total, US$ 2 billion was for RMNCAH. This included about US$ 1.2 billion for child and newborn health, and US$743 million for reproductive, maternal, and adolescent health. This includes both analytical work and operational grants and lending across the Bank.

This includes cross-cutting programs such as the regional initiative in the ‘Sahel’ focused on women and girls in collaboration with the United Nations, European Union, African Union and the African Development Bank. The Bank is investing US$ 200 million through IDA in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal to improve the availability and affordability of reproductive health commodities, strengthen specialized training centers for rural based midwifery/nursing services, and to pilot and share knowledge on adolescent girls’ initiatives.

Additionally, between FY17 and middle of FY18, the World Bank has invested another US$ 2.8 billion in Health, Nutrition, and Population with US$ 1 billion in RMNCAH of which over US$ 650 million has been committed to reproductive, maternal, and adolescent health.

The Bank continues to support countries directly through IDA/IBRD, as well as through leveraged financing through the Global Financing Facility. Investing in people is a critical step for boosting economic growth and ending extreme poverty. Established in 2015, the GFF is an innovative financing mechanism to help close the annual financing gap of US$33 billion that must be closed to eliminate preventable maternal and child deaths worldwide. The GFF process helps governments and their partners prioritize, focus on results, and tackle the main system bottlenecks to achieve impact at scale, which in turn is critical to achieving universal health coverage.


The World Bank pledged at least $700 million in financing through the end of 2015 to help developing countries reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and children’s health. This new funding comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and will enable national scale-ups of successful pilot reproductive, maternal, and child health projects that were made possible by support from the Bank Group’s Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) and IDA. This announcement follows President Kim’s September 2012 commitment to help scale up funding for MDGs 4 and 5 as part of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child global partnership. The $700 million pledge comes on top of the September 2010 World Bank pledge to provide $600 million in IDA results-based financing for MDGs 4 and 5 by 2015; the World Bank has delivered on its earlier pledge two years ahead of schedule. This support has contributed to global declines in maternal and child mortality and expanded access to health care for poor women and children. Please click here to read the complete press release.

2012—London Family Planning Summit

The World Bank continues to strongly support family planning and reproductive health through its five-year Reproductive Health Action Plan, which focuses on the 57 poor countries with the highest maternal mortality and fertility rates. In the first two years under this plan, the Bank has already increased its multisector financing, capacity, analytical and advisory work, and monitoring of reproductive health in the priority countries. In support of the goals of the Summit and in partnership with the UK and Norwegian governments, the Bank commits to scaling up support for results-based financing for health – helping countries match financing to specific, measurable targets toward improving maternal and child health, including expanding access to family planning. The Bank will work closely with global partners in the Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health to see how support for these programs can be expanded even further. The Bank will continue to do its part, working with Ministries of Finance and others in its partner countries, to help ensure that support for family planning and reproductive health is, and remains, a key element of country development strategies.


The World Bank will focus on women’s and children’s health in 35 countries, particularly in East Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, which face challenges in achieving the MDGs because of high fertility and poor child and maternal nutrition and disease. This will expand the reach of the World Bank’s results-based programs by more than $600 million to scale up essential health and nutrition services and strengthen the underlying health systems which are essential to sustain better health results over the years. This is in addition to other World Bank commitments to help countries achieve the MDGs such as significantly increased financing for agriculture and education, which will also benefit women’s and children’s health.

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