RESULTS Canada has a long history of supporting interventions and initiatives that save children’s lives. Since our inception in Canada in 1986, we have consistently stressed the urgency of promoting the health and development of children everywhere.
One of our first major campaigns was to ensure the success of the 1990 World Summit for Children. In 1988, UNICEF launched its State of the World’s Children report that called for a global meeting of the world’s heads of state to address the scandal of 40,000 children dying every day mostly from preventable causes.
Without high-level support for this Summit, it would have never got off the ground. RESULTS Canada’s grassroots got involved by partnering with James Grant, then head of UNICEF, writing letters, publishing, and by getting an editorial placed in the Globe and Mail. The campaign helped secure the commitment of then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney who agreed to be a co-convener and co-chair of the Summit, which in turn helped to leverage the involvement of other state leaders.
The result was that on 29-30 September 1990 the largest gathering of world leaders in history up until then assembled at the United Nations to attend the World Summit for Children. Led by 71 heads of State and Government and 88 other senior officials, mostly at the ministerial level, the World Summit adopted a Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and a Plan of Action for implementing the Declaration in the 1990s. The New York Times called it “the largest global summit meeting in history, pledged to do better by the world’s children.”
James Grant said: “RESULTS Canada was the first citizens’ group in any country to take up an organized effort to see the Summit was backed by the leadership of their country.” The commitments made at that Summit have have created an inspiring legacy.
At the time of the Summit, 14 million children were dying every year of largely preventable causes. Today, the number has decreased to 8.8 million, in part due to the political will mobilized by RESULTS volunteers over the past 20 years for a range of proven, cost-effective interventions that help children survive and thrive such as access to malaria prevention, immunizations, good nutrition, clean water and basic sanitation, primary school education and microfinance for their families. Indeed, every campaign RESULTS Canada achieves success in helps to improve the lives of children.
Since RESULTS Canada mobilized on children’s issues in the early 90’s, it has continued to be at the forefront of child survival, working with determination to create the political will to fund effective interventions that save children’s lives. Our advocacy over the years has contributed to:
In 2007, RESULTS volunteers also succeeded in securing Canada’s global leadership on the Catalytic Initiative to Save a Million Lives – an initiative that supports inexpensive health interventions that work and strengthen community health systems in Africa. Since its launch, global donors have contributed close to $500 million – with Canada’s contribution at $105 million over five years. This initiative is the cornerstone of the Canadian government’s 2009 commitment to make “securing the well-being of children and youth” a priority for CIDA’s foreign aid program into the future.
We are particularly proud that, through their advocacy, our volunteers and staff were a driving force in securing Harper’s January 2010 commitment to making Child and Maternal Health the signature development issue for the 2010 G8 hosted by Canada.