Multibillion-Dollar Fund Launches to Prevent Global Maternal, Newborn, and Child Deaths


This week at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a new multibillion-dollar global fund was launched. Called the Global Financing Facility, the fund will pump international, domestic, public, and private financing into high-burden, low-income countries that desperately need the funds to save more of its mothers, newborns, and children. The Global Financing Facility will be housed at the World Bank.

According to the World Bank, $12 billion of the needed $33.3 billion has already been pledged to this financing effort that will support the United Nations’ Every Woman Every Child. Some sources report that Norway has already pledged $600 million and Canada has pledged $200 million. Together, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States, Japan, and Canada (with a new $40 million pledge) have also committed $214 million. To date, those public numbers are far shy of the $12 billion that is said to have been “aligned” to the fund. Who pledged the additional funds I am not entirely sure. What is clear, however, is that over the course of 15 years, a total of $33.3 billion will be needed to save the lives of 4 million mothers and 101 million children and prevent 21 million stillbirths. [PDF]

For a five-year term, four countries with some of the highest burden will receive aid first including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Following programming in these four countries eight others will be added including Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. In all, 63 countries will benefit from the Global Financing Facility.

To simplify the Global Financing Facility the World Bank created a video showing why the fund is important and what it aims to achieve for the upcoming sustainable development goals.

Photo: Mother and child in Iringa, Tanzania. Jennifer James

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