Donors pledge 1bn dollars for women and children's health fund
November 06 2018 06:32 PM
The President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (L), Norway´s Prime Minister Erna Solberg
The President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (L), Norway´s Prime Minister Erna Solberg (C) and the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva (R) attend an international conference on health in developing countries in Oslo

Dpa/Stockholm

Several countries, global agencies and other donors pledged 1 billion dollars Tuesday towards helping women and children at a fundraising meeting of the Global Financing Facility (GFF).

The money raised at the session in Oslo will be used to improve health and nutrition for mothers and children in some of the world's poorest countries. The GFF, set up in 2015, is active in 27 nations.

The World Bank, one of the organizations that supports the GFF, said it would match Tuesday's contributions with 7.5 billion dollars for similar programmes, said chief executive Kristalina Georgieva.

‘Each day, 830 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, and 450,000 children under 5 [years old] die needlessly every month,’ she said.

Host country Norway pledged 360 million dollars. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the GFF was ‘an efficient and effective instrument.’  Private donors included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which committed 200 million dollars.

‘Healthy women, children and adolescents contribute to a virtuous cycle,’ said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the foundation.

Several poorer countries said they were committed to increasing their funding to national health programmes.

Burkina Faso, for instance, said it would allocate at least 15 per cent of its budget to improve health.

Roch Marc Christian Kabore, the West African country's president, said the GFF helped countries ‘set priorities and drive domestic resource mobilization.’



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