UN secures 40 billion dollars for global health drive

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced a 40-billion-dollar drive to improve the health of women and children, which he said would save millions of lives around the world.

Governments, philanthropists and private groups pledged the cash, giving a spectacular end to the UN summit on eliminating poverty, a campaign that has been badly battered by the international financial crisis.

"We know what works to save women's and children's lives, and we know that women and children are critical to all of the Millennium Development Goals," said the UN chief in a statement. "Today we are witnessing the kind of leadership we have long needed."

He estimated that his Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health could save 16 million lives by 2015.

Cutting the unnecessary deaths of women during pregnancy and childbirth and stopping the premature deaths of children under five are the two most slowest moving goals of the eight key development targets set at a summit in 2000.

The UN said that spending on women and children reduces poverty, stimulates economic growth and is a fundamental human right.

Countries from Afghanistan to Zambia - but also including Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia and the United States - have contributed to the drive.

The foundations of the world's richest men, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates were among the contributors. They joined rights groups such as Amnesty International and multinationals such as The Body Shop, LG Electronics and Pfizer.

"Never have so many come together to save the lives of women and children," commented Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, whose country is one of the world's top aid donors.

Thoraya Obaid, executive director of the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), called advancing the health and rights of women "one of the greatest social causes of our time."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that investing in women and children's health was "an issue that deserves to be at the top of our development agenda."

A UN statement said that the deaths of more than 15 million children under five would be saved between 2011 and 2015 because of the initiative.

It added that it would prevent 33 million unwanted pregnancies and 740,000 women from dying from complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth. It estimated that 120 million children would be protected from pneumonia.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

    £15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

    £60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms