From Linda Asante-Agyei, GNA Special Correspondent,
Courtesy: Partnership for Maternal and New Child Health /WHO
New York, Sept. 26, GNA – The World Bank Group and Canada, Norway, and United States have announced that they would jumpstart the creation of an innovative Global Financing Facility (GFF).
This would mobilise support to accelerate progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The World Bank and these three giant countries would also work to bring an end to preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030.
The GFF, in support of Every Woman Every Child, is being developed in close collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, including partner countries; the H4+ agencies -UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS, UN Women and the World Bank Group; civil society organisations; bilateral and multilateral development partners; foundations; private sector and others working in the areas of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
Announcing this by global leaders at the high-level event for Every Woman Every Child during the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, the GFF would support developing countries in their efforts to mobilise additional domestic and international resources required to scale up and sustain essential health services for women, children and adolescents.
The initial donor commitments to the World Bank Group for the GFF include grants in the amounts of $600 million from Norway and $200 million from Canada.
The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said, ‘The creation of the Global Financing Facility will enable us to transform the business of global health and development with scaled-up, smart, and sustainable financing, so that all women and children have access to lifesaving care and this signals our collective resolve as development partners to help countries push further and faster to bring an end to preventable maternal and child deaths and extreme poverty.’
He noted that the GFF resources would be provided to countries in conjunction with low-interest loans and grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
Based on strong country demand for health results-based financing programmes, these bilateral contributions could leverage up to an estimated $3.2 billion from IDA, for a total of up to $4 billion in financing to support MDG acceleration and improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, ‘Under the Every Woman Every Child partnership model, the health community is leading the way in finding innovative solutions and expanding new partnerships.
For the first time ever, we have the historic opportunity to end all preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths within a generation. This new funding boost and innovative financing approach will help us get closer to that goal, with United Nations agencies and multiple partners playing a major role,’ he noted.
Dr Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said the US is committed to work with partners to establish the GFF, bringing its full arsenal of innovative financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships to the collaboration.
Aligning USAID’s support through these complementary mechanisms could bring an additional $200 – $400 million in leveraged resources to these efforts.
‘As we set our sights on achieving great human aspirations, we have to re-imagine development with new business models, innovations, and partnerships. The Global Financing Facility will harness the creativity and expertise of a range of impressive new partners in order to save the lives of moms and kids everywhere. It is a symbol of a new model of development that increasingly defines how we work around the world to help end extreme poverty,” Dr Shah, added.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway said, Norway is committed to support the GFF and with its diversification of resources, results focus and targeting of girls and women, it would be tailor- made for the new development agenda.
He explained that a unique aspect of the GFF is to support developing countries in their transition to long-term sustainable domestic financing as they grow from low- to middle-income economies.
A special focus area of the GFF would be to support countries to expand Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) efforts toward universal registration of every pregnancy, every birth and every death by 2030.
CRVS systems provide a critical accountability tool for reducing mortality and ensuring universal access to health care, education and other essential services.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada said: ‘I am very proud that Canada is a founding member of the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman Every Child. Canada believes that maternal, newborn and child health must stay at the forefront of the post 2015 agenda.
Today’s announcement will help ensure that developing countries have access to capital that will strengthen their health systems and build the necessary civil registration and vital statistics systems to record and track essential data, which saves the lives of mothers and children.’
Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs and for Malaria said: ‘The MDGs have enabled remarkable shared progress toward ending preventable child and maternal deaths, but the job is not done.’
Consultations on the design and implementation of the GFF are now underway with countries and with key partners and organisations working on women’s and children’s health.
The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2015.
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, expressed delight with the development and said ‘In the last year we have estimated the investment needs for countries to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030, an additional 5 $ per capita per year in high-burden countries and also to scale up CRVS plans.
‘We are convinced we can work together so this facility will be the way to channel and leverage efficiently the funding needed to achieve these ambitious but realistic goals.’
Madam GraÃ§a Machel, Chair, of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) welcomed the initiative to support and increase national capacity to take leadership on financing women’s and children’s health.
‘PMNCH looks forward to facilitating wide consultation among its 650+ members from government and development partners, to civil society, academia, health professionals and the private sector to realize this vision,’ She added.
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