Last week, at the first meeting of the Information and Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support for new development projects that will save the lives and improve the health of mothers and children in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Bangladesh, demonstrating Canada’s commitment to the G-8 Muskoka Initiative.
In Ethiopia, Canada’s contribution will improve food security for 3 million mothers and children through community based nutrition, and the funding will be allocated to training 4,000 community health workers and ensuring access to clean water for 125,000 people. In Mozambique, the contribution 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.
In June 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced at the G-8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada’s commitment of $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). Since the G-8 Summit, Canada and its global partners have committed more than US$7.3 billion to the Muskoka Initiative.
Prime Minister Harper is one of the chairs of the Information and Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health that will be tracking the results and resource flows at global and country levels.