12 April 2016

[Opinion] We must leave no mother or child behind

There is an alarming and historically unacknowledged reality about where vulnerable mothers and children are located. Some 60 per cent of preventable maternal deaths, 53 per cent of child deaths and 45 per cent of newborn deaths occur in areas of conflict, displacement and natural disasters. Shockingly, women and children are up to 14 times more likely than men to die in a disaster, and gender-based violence is vastly higher in these settings.

If we are serious about achieving the 2030 goal, then the challenge is clear: we need to reach mothers and children even in the worst settings – from war-torn Syria to the cyclone-ravaged Pacific islands. We cannot limit ourselves to where governments function and access is uncomplicated; we must strive to go everywhere.

No one is under the illusion that this will be easy. However, with the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the Every Woman Every Child EveryWhere initiative is putting the international community on track to ensure that mothers, children and newborns in humanitarian crises are not left behind.

In Abu Dhabi this week, we are working with a coalition of some of the most influential and innovative partners in the humanitarian and development fields to create a road map for implementation.

Read more.