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UN urges Group of Eight nations to step up investments in maternal health

UN urges Group of Eight nations to step up investments in maternal health

A United Nations-backed drive issued a call to the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations today to fulfil their prior pledges to global health and to boost their investments to avert the deaths of more than 6 million mothers, newborns and children yearly.

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health – a coalition of some 240 countries and organizations, administered by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) – appealed for an further $10.2 billion annually to ensure universal coverage of basic services to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to curb child death and improve maternal health.

“We urge the G8 to step up funding and lead by example by saving and protecting lives,” said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Today’s appeal, which was launched in Cape Town, South Africa, ahead of the G8 Summit to be hosted by Japan in July, also targets all donor governments and business leaders.

Recent data shows that donor aid for health averaged $7 per child and $12 per live birth in the 68 countries which account for 97 per cent of all maternal and child health deaths worldwide, far short of the $45 per person minimum needed to ensure access to basic health services.

The Partnership asked for a “reallocation of national resources to benefit women and children, especially in countries with significant economic prospects where resources can be mobilized.”