The United Nations has announced that governments, companies, foundations, and other organizations have committed $40 billion to a new global strategy for women's and children's health.
The strategy (20 pages, PDF) lays out a plan to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children while reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth, supporting fundamental human rights, and building stable, peaceful, and productive societies. It is expected that between 2011 and 2015 the strategy will help prevent the deaths of more than
15 million children under the age of five, 33 million unwanted pregnancies, and the deaths of 740,000 women from complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth. An additional 88 million children under the age of five could be protected from stunting, while 120 million could be protected from pneumonia.
To help ensure the success of the strategy, several multilateral organizations, including UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank, will collaborate to mobilize ongoing political and operational support and identify and connect resources to the people who need them based on the priorities set by countries' national health plans. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will work with the partners to ensure the integration of services and efforts across a broad range of health needs.
Governments and organizations that have committed to support the strategy include the United States, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Haiti, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Amnesty International, CARE, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Global Health Alliance, GE Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Global Fund for Women, and the Carlos Slim, Packard, Ford, and MacArthur foundations.
"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 MDGs," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "Today we are witnessing the kind of leadership we have long needed."
For a complete list of organizations and governments supporting the strategy, visit the UN Web site.