UN appeals for nearly $500 million to slash maternal deaths in 75 nations

14 February 2008

With a women dying every minute due to pregnancy or childbirth complications, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today appealed for nearly half a billion dollars to save the lives of millions of women in 75 countries.

With a women dying every minute due to pregnancy or childbirth complications, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today appealed for nearly half a billion dollars to save the lives of millions of women in 75 countries.

“No woman should die giving life,” said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA’s Executive Director. “To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”

There are up to half a million maternal deaths annually, and the agency hopes the $465 million it is calling for will support women in the neediest countries over the next four years.

Progress in the area of maternal health has been slow in many nations due to the lack of political will and inadequate resources.

Ms. Obaid urged countries to bolster their investment in national health systems by training birth attendants and promoting family planning. “Millions of deaths and disabilities could be prevented, if every woman had access to reproductive health services,” she pointed out.

Improving maternal health by 2015 is also the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

The new thematic fund – established by UNFPA in collaboration with governments, other UN organizations and international partners – will help countries health systems’ capacities to provide a wide range of maternal health services and empower women to exercise their right to maternal health.

 

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