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Planned Parenthood Heartened By Strong Country Commitments To Improving Women and Children’s Health
Welcomes UN Secretary General’s Strategy as a Powerful Development Tool
More than 40 countries and a host of foundations, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, health care workers’ associations and academic institutions committed $40 billion in resources to improve the health and lives of women and children worldwide at the United Nations today during the launch of a new strategy released by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The strategy, which calls for “more health for the money” and “more money for health,” is the result of a multi-sector, multi-agency initiative led by Secretary General Ban to address the fact that improvements to child and maternal health lag far behind other objectives laid out in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With only five years remaining to reach the 2015 goals laid out in the MDGs, this new strategy serves as an overarching guide for governments and other investors in international development to hone their efforts and make tangible commitments.
Examples of these commitments include promises from Liberia, Nigeria and Rwanda to increase the number of trained midwives in their countries; for Tanzania and Yemen to scale up emergency obstetric care; commitments from Cambodia to increase access to safe abortion care; and efforts from countries including Afghanistan, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger to make modern contraception more widely available to women in need.
The United States’ commitments fall under President Obama’s existing Global Health Initiative, a six-year initiative to strengthen health systems in partner countries.
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America is heartened by these strong commitments from developing nations, donor countries and our partners from sister organizations, foundations and the private sector to improve the health and lives of women and children around the world,” said Mary-Jane Wagle, Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president for international programs. “But these pledges alone are not enough. To achieve Millennium Development Goal targets for improving maternal and child health by 2015, all governments and development partners need to scale up their efforts and pay attention to what works. To ensure that we truly get “more health for the money,” governments and international donors need to work with local organizations. Partners on the ground are the ones best placed to guide these efforts so that barriers to success are removed and support driven to locally-relevant strategies and programs.”
At the launch, Japan announced a five-year, $5 billion effort dedicated to maternal, newborn and child health, which will focus on the continuum of care ensuring that mothers and children have quality health coverage beginning at pregnancy and continuing on through the life of the child. Additionally, the Gates, Ford, MacArthur, Packard and United Nations Foundations all committed large contributions, as did a number of multilateral organizations, international consortiums and private businesses.
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America is committed to strengthening our investment in our partners in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean as they battle at the frontlines to prevent needless death and illness among women and their children,” said Wagle.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 825 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.