From Saving Every Women, Every Newborn Summit

"TORONTO, May 29, 2014 – The Government of Canada today demonstrated its continued leadership in maternal, newborn and child health with a generous new commitment of $3.5 billion to improve the health of mothers and children for the period of 2015-2020.

UNICEF Canada welcomes this renewed commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children. These funds will save lives and build stronger communities and countries. This announcement has the potential to catalyze further commitments from other global partners and leaders.

Recently there has been rapid progress in ending preventable deaths of women and children. Through effective and more affordable treatments and strengthened health systems, the global rate of under-five deaths has been cut in half in the last 25 years and fewer women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth.

Despite these gains more must be done.

This year we have seen the increasing focus on the need to address infant mortality.  Newborn deaths account for a staggering 44 per cent of total mortality among children under five. The first 24 hours after birth are the most dangerous for a mother and her child; almost half of maternal and newborn deaths occur then. While we must continue to reach children with critical health interventions like vaccines and micronutrients, the youngest and most vulnerable children need our attention.

New investments to improve the health of women and children must be directed towards the poorest, most vulnerable and the hardest to reach. While global progress has been made close scrutiny of that progress shines a light on the women and children who are not benefiting from our global investment.  This is unacceptable and must urgently be reversed."


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