26 January 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced support for new development projects that will save the lives and improve the health of mothers and children in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mozambique.
"Canada was the catalyst in 2010 for the renewed global effort to save the lives of mothers, children and newborns in developing countries," said Prime Minister Harper. "The support being announced today will help Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mozambique address the urgent and long-term health needs of these vulnerable groups."
In Ethiopia, Canada will provide support to improve the nutrition and health of three million pregnant and nursing women and their children. In Mozambique, Canada will help strengthen the national health system to deliver health services to mothers and children, provide lifesaving HIV treatment to 38,000 children, treat 94,000 pregnant women to prevent new HIV infections and immunize 2.8 million children under five against measles. In Bangladesh, Canadian funding will strengthen maternal and neonatal health services by purchasing essential drugs and equipment, recruiting and training health care professionals — including 2,700 new skilled community birth attendants — upgrading existing treatment centres, and helping purchase enough oral polio vaccine for 250,000 children annually.
The support announced today is part of Canada meeting the 5-year, $2.85-billion commitment that it made at the 2010 G-8 Summit under the Muskoka Initiative. Accountability is a key component of all the new initiatives.
The Prime Minister made the announcement at the close of the first meeting of the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, held today in Geneva. Prime Minister Harper and Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania, are the co-chairs of the Commission.
"Today, members of the Commission emerged from our first meeting united in our determination to ensure that global funding for maternal and children’s health in developing countries is spent where needed most and properly accounted for," said Prime Minister Harper. "We all agree that success depends on simple and clear interventions that yield results."