Canada Leads the Way in Improving the Health of Women and Children in Developing Countries
David Tilson, MP
Our Government has continued to take a leadership role in ensuring that the improvement of health of women and children in developing countries is not only a priority for Canada, but for the international community as well. We have consistently demonstrated this leadership through initiatives such as the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH), championed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in June 2010, at the G-8 Leaders Summit. This commitment was recently reaffirmed when Prime Minister Harper announced support for 28 new projects under the Muskoka Initiative.
When the MNCH was announced by Prime Minister Harper during last year’s G-8 Leaders Summit, the leaders of the G-8 countries agreed to take action to close the gaps in maternal, newborn, and child health in developing countries. The leaders of this initiative were also joined by other nations and organizations and together committed US$7.3 billion in new funding over five years. Canada, in particular, has committed $1.1 billion in new funding for maternal, newborn, and child health, of which almost $800 million has been announced.
On September 20th, Prime Minister Harper traveled to New York City to participate in the Every Woman Every Child event, hosted by the UN Secretary-General. This event brought heads of government and senior officials from civil society and the private sector together, where they discussed the progress to-date and identified the next steps to implement commitments made by stakeholders.
During this event, Prime Minister Harper announced support for 28 new projects that will assist in saving the lives of mothers, infants, and children in Haiti, Africa, and Asia. In total, the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program (MIPP) will provide up to $82 million for these projects that take a comprehensive and integrated approach to address and support maternal, newborn, and child health, as well as Canada’s commitment to reducing mortality rates in developing countries until 2015. Including new MIPP projects that were recently announced, Canada has now launched 51 Muskoka Initiative projects in 26 countries that are assisting in the reduction of preventable deaths.
The projects will assist in strengthening the delivery of health care services, improving access to nutritious foods, and addressing prevalent disease and illnesses that cause maternal, neonatal, and child deaths.
Our Government has a long history of honouring its commitments. We pledged to help save the lives of mothers, infants, and children in developing countries at the 2010 G-8 Leaders Summit and we have done this over the last year by launching an impressive 51 Muskoka Initiative projects in 26 countries. We will continue to lead by example and in turn, will encourage the international community to do its part to tackle a very serious, yet conquerable problem.