CANADA — Canada recently announced its plans to donate $203 million to the United Nation’s campaign to improve health care for women, babies, and young children. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was pleased to announce this contribution and combat what he calls “one of the world’s great tragedies.” The UN’s program, Every Woman Every Child, is working to reduce mortality rates and improve overall health for women and children.
The program consists of the United Nations as well as governments, organizations like the World Bank and other private foundations, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When Every Woman Every Child was started in 2010, each member committed to contributing $7 billion to the cause by 2015, but as the program grew, the contributions have reached $20 billion.
Canada’s new pledge is the largest the program has yet to receive. Prime Minister Harper has vowed to contribute a total amount of $1.1 billion, amount that will vastly help with the UN’s development goals as well as Every Woman Every Child. Other members of the UN panel, where Harper announced his country’s contribution, were quick to praise the Prime Minister.
The director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, said Canada’s money will be crucial in the fight to improve women and children’s health in developing countries. Dr. Chan continued to comment on the implications of Canada’s donation by addressing Harper. She praised him by saying, “You raised the resources, but more importantly the political support, behind child and women’s health.”
If the program’s goals of 90 percent improvement in women and children’s health by 2015 is going to be carried out, members of Every Woman Every Child have to work with local communities to create healthcare facilities, train doctors, nurses and midwives and improve access to medicine and technology.
Despite the difficulties facing this program’s goals, Harper reminded panel members of the reasons why the organization is working so hard to raise funds. The success of Every Woman Every Child will result in saving the lives of millions of women and children around the world.
– Mary Penn
Sources: Vancouver Sun, City News Toronto
Photo: Sandra Rose