Making Sure Every Mother and Every Child Counts: Canadians Lead Global Fund for the World's Poorest Mothers and Children

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2014 /CNW/ – Today at the United Nations General Assembly, Canada announced its leadership with other partners of a global fund dedicated to saving and improving the lives of mothers and children around the world. Canada is dedicating $200 million to a Global Financing Facility (GFF), of which $100 million is earmarked for civil registration and vital statistics. This is part of the landmark $3.5 billion that Canada committed in May of this year. The GFF is consolidating $4 billion to support proven, effective solutions. This announcement reveals the first financing mechanism of its kind, which will work to galvanize other countries to commit to ending preventable maternal and child deaths globally.

The international community has achieved unprecedented global progress toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, which are focused on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. However, every year 287,000 women and 6.6 million children under five still die due to preventable causes. As world leaders decide on a new and ambitious development agenda, it is critical to not lose sight of these goals, or to ignore the need to mobilize significant domestic and international resources to end preventable maternal, newborn and child death. Today’s announcement is a rallying call for partners across sectors and nations to bring these resources to the table.

Announcement for a Global Financing Facility

The new Global Financing Facility (GFF) is an important step in saving every woman and every child from preventable death. The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is pleased that world leaders led by Canadahave recognized the need for new and diverse forms of global health financing, as represented by this announcement.

Although specific details regarding the initiative are yet to be confirmed, the Canadian Network expects that a newly funded Global Financing Facility will align with principles for sound development, and be established through consultation and engagement of countries, communities and civil society. It is expected that Canada will be committed to improved accountability that will ensure maximum impact for every vulnerable woman, newborn and child.

Rosemary McCarney, co-chair of the Canadian Network, says, “A Global Financing Facility has the potential to leverage the increased and sustained resources necessary to end preventable deaths within a generation. Ultimately, however, it is critical that the Facility be accountable to, and work in the best interests of, the vulnerable women and children it intends to benefit”.

Mothers, Newborns and Children Lives Need to Count

The international community has made incredible progress in maternal, newborn and child health. Yet progress has been uneven, and has too often omitted the most vulnerable women and children. Many women and children’s lives are still not counted, with an estimated one-third of the world’s annual births and two-thirds of annual deaths not legally recognized. Birth registration and vital statistics are basic human rights for individuals and ensure that governments can effectively plan and deliver health care services. Every mother and child counts and they have a right to be counted.

The Future for Mothers, Newborns and Children

The Canadian Network looks forward to working with the government to ensure the success of a newly funded Financing Facility to support the improvement of health systems to reach the most vulnerable women, newborns and children. The Canadian Network will work tirelessly to ensure that every woman, newborn and child is counted, and to ensure that lives are saved and health improved.

Canadians believe that everyone has a right to health no matter where they live. Working together we can harness this basic Canadian value and the renewed global momentum to end preventable deaths in a generation.


September 26, 2014