NEW YORK The Presidents of Chile, Finland, and the United Republic of Tanzania put the world on alert that the 2015 targets to reduce maternal and child mortality will not be met without concerted global action. The warning came at a special event, Commitment to Progress for Mothers, Newborns and Children, co-hosted by the three countries. Hailed as a landmark on the road to meeting MDGs 5 and 4, the event was held on the same day as the UN Summit on the MDGs and was attended by more than 100 governments and international organizations.
At the event, the Vice President of Burundi pledged to extend free healthcare to all pregnant women. The UK Secretary of State for International Development pledged to spend an estimated £450 million over the next three years to support national health plans in eight developing countries. The international NGO, World Vision, announced that it is investing approximately US$150 million in cash and an additional US$300 million to address child health.
"Action and investment by national, regional and international leaders are the defining factors to reach MDGs 4 and 5. Making an additional investment of US$10.2 billion annually will save not only 6 million mothers and children, but it will bring sound economic and social benefits to families and societies to overcome persisting poverty. This is the time for action – these resources need to be made available now if we are to have any hope of meeting the targets by 2015," according to the co-organizing institutions.
Commitment to Progress for Mothers, Newborns and Children re-invigorated global momentum for achieving MDGs 5 and 4 by creating new pledges of support, inspiring future initiatives, and building political will.
The world's attention is often fleeting, focusing on the immediate crisis at hand. But our challenge is to not let the world forget: "We must move MDGs 4 and 5 to a central place on global and national agendas," says Ann Starrs, president of Family Care International. "We need to build a better world, a world where women and children don’t die simply because no one cared enough, and where the right to basic health care is respected and realized."
Co-organizers of the event included Family Care International, International Planned Parenthood Federation; Save the Children UK; the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, White Ribbon Alliances, and World Vision International.