Migiro urges boost in donor funding to improve maternal and child health

Migiro urges boost in donor funding to improve maternal and child health

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro has called on donor nations to keep their development aid promises, citing the lack of funding as a major reason for the slow progress in reducing maternal and child mortality.

“That in the last two decades little progress has been made on maternal and newborn health in many developing countries is a sombre commentary on the global village we live in,” Ms. Migiro told a gathering in New York on Wednesday in support of a new global push to achieve the internationally agreed development targets related to health.

Noting that 300 children and 5 mothers in labour will die in the time it took her to address the event, she stressed that achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 – which call for a reduction in child deaths of two thirds compared to 1990 and a reduction in maternal mortality of three quarters, both by 2015 – “is without any doubts one of the most urgent tasks before us.”

Lack of funding, along with inadequate health systems, is a main reason for the slow progress in improving maternal and child health, she said. “It is a simple fact that the poorest countries, especially African and least developed countries, are not in a position to pay for their healthcare costs.”

While using existing resources more efficiently and improving health delivery systems are important, she stressed increased donor funding and improved aid effectiveness as key to successfully fighting maternal and child mortality.