Canada’s global pledge to support women and children’s health a positive down-payment

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 in News

Oslo, Norway – On November 6th, the Canadian government increased its commitment to the Global Financing Facility by $50 million CAD for the 2015-2020 period. This amount contributed to a total replenishment of 1 billion USD that will transform the health and nutrition of the world’s poorest women, children, and adolescents.

Although Canada’s commitment falls short of the $240 million CAD that RESULTS and other civil society advocates had been calling for, we are heartened by Canada’s promise that this is only a down payment on what will be a deeper commitment in 2019.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) Trust Fund is a global funding mechanism developed to incentivize countries to prioritize women, children, and adolescent health and nutrition. In Oslo, the GFF had been seeking a $2 billion contribution from global partners to expand its work to an additional 50 countries in order to save as many as 35 million lives. In Oslo, the fund raised 1 billion towards that goal.

Canada’s commitment comes after a concerted effort by everyday Canadians, including RESULTS Canada grassroots volunteers, who acted to ensure that we remain a leader in eliminating preventable maternal and child deaths worldwide. By meeting with Members of Parliament, writing letters to the editor and publishing op-eds Canadians raised their voices and saw clear results.  We look forward to fully celebrating Canada’s leadership when the full $240 M CAD pledge is realized.

Canada’s investments now and into the future will ensure that the GFF has the resources it needs to ensure progress is scaled up, the expansion plan is fully realized, and the Global Financing Facility is fit for purpose to ensure every woman, child and adolescent receives critical health and nutrition interventions.

Launched in 2015 with the initial funding support of Canada, Norway and the World Bank, its aim is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths by 2030. In the first three years, the mechanism now supports 27 countries and has mobilized 3.5 billion dollars for improved nutrition and health for millions.

Canada is a global leader in advancing the empowerment and gender equality of women and girls. At the Group of 7 (G7) Development and Finance Ministerial, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, joined the G7 Development Ministers on May 31st, 2018, in signing the Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development.

RESULTS Canada had recommended that renewed support of the GFF would be a concrete means of furthering the commitments Canada and other G7 countries have made. A CAD $240 million investment in the GFF through to 2023 would represent a continuation of Canada’s global leadership on women and children’s health and demonstrate confidence in the GFF’s impact. The announcement at Oslo today is a good first step towards this longer-term commitment.

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