28 May 2014

Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach

The Canadian government has led the way to galvanize international support to reduce maternal and child mortality first through the 2010 Muskoka Initiative, where it provided $2.85 billion in funding between 2010 and 2015, and then by the leadership of Prime Minister Harper and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania as chairs of the Commission on Information and Accountability, which aimed to bring more money for health and more health for the money and just recently with the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, which provided renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015 and committed $3.5 billion to improve the health of mothers and children for the period of 2015-2020 . 
Over the course of the Summit, leaders and experts worked together to advance three priority themes: Getting Results for Women and Children: Summit participants highlighted the benefits of coordinated action and the successes achieved since 2010. Leaders and experts also pointed to the importance of  providing increased support for nutrition through key partners such as the Micronutrient Initiative, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF. In addition, Summit participants welcomed the announcement that Germany would host the GAVI replenishment meeting in 2015 and called on all partners to increase their support to the GAVI Alliance. 
Doing More Together Globally: Summit participants also called for increased efforts to work together. They also called for more timely, reliable, accurate and accessible health information as a critical catalyst for greater accountability within national health systems. In addition, they agreed that a wider spectrum of expertise and resources are needed, including from traditional partners, local governments, the private sector, civil society and citizens. 
Taking Real Action on Women’s and Children’s Health: Summit participants called on all partners to maintain progress and increase momentum on efforts to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by the end of 2015. Summit discussions also made clear that ending 
preventable deaths of women and children within a generation will mean carrying forward the lessons learned, including the need for political leadership, sustained financial commitments, robust accountability measures, and a renewed focus on the approaches that are proven to save the lives of women and children. 
Participants welcomed Canada’s renewed commitment towards MNCH through 2015-2020 and called on other global donors to meet their commitments to women and children, leading up to and beyond 2015. Summit discussions also emphasized the need for common goals and for governments, international organizations, civil society, businesses and health leaders to ensure that ending preventable maternal, newborn and under-five child mortality by 2030 is a central priority within the post-2015 development agenda.