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G8 Leaders Recommit to Improve Maternal Health and Reduce Child Mortality

The 37th G8 Summit was held in Deauville, France from May 26-27, 2011. The three priorities of the French Presidency of the G8 Summit were the internet and green growth, international peace and security and partnership with Africa. Though health was not a priority of the G8 this year, the Deauville statement reaffirmed a commitment to improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, most notably through the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child health launched in 2010. 

The Muskoka Initiative is aimed at supporting developing countries in reducing deaths of women in pregnancy and childbirth, reducing deaths of children under five, and at increasing access to family planning. In June 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced at the G-8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada’s commitment of US $2.85 billion over five years to help save the lives of mothers, children and newborns in developing countries. Of that, $1.1 billion was new funding for the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, while the remaining $1.75 billion maintained current funding levels for similar initiatives through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Overall, the G8 committed to provide $10 billion for the Muskoka Initiative by 2015, and made an initial commitment of $5 billion. A report released by the G8 last week gave a first glimpse into these commitments. It appears that collectively the G8 may have already surpassed the initial $5 billion commitment by about $2.656 billion, roughly 53%. Since the G-8 Summit, Canada and its global partners have committed nearly $7.3 billion to the Muskoka Initiative.

In the Deauville statement, the G8 also committed to support the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. They will implement them, and urge others to do so.

The Muskoka Initiative was the G8 contribution to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health launched in September 2010 by the UN Secretary-General and over 90 stakeholders, with US$40 billion in commitments. G8 leaders committed to implement and monitor their Muskoka commitments in coordination with other stakeholders in the Global Strategy.

According to the 2011 G8 Accountability Report, G8 member commitments to Muskoka are as follows: Canada - C$ 1.1 billion; France - € 500 million; Germany - €400 million; Italy - US$ 75 million; Japan - US$500 million; Russia - US$ 75 million; United Kingdom - £ 2.1 billion; US - US$ 1.346 billion; EU - $ 70 million.

READ the Deauville Accountability Report: G8 Commitments on Health and Food Security, May 2011
VISIT France’s Official G8/G20 website
READ more on the Priorities of the French Presidency for the G8 Summit
READ the Priorities of the French Presidency for the G20 Summit

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