Over 5 million mothers and children die from preventable causes in over 50 countries every year. Not only is this a devastating number of deaths, but poor health and nutrition also cost economies billions of dollars every year. Canada, along with the Global Finance Facility (GFF), want to help change that.
On Tuesday, the GFF held a replenishment conference in Oslo, Norway, co-hosted by the governments of Norway and Burkina Faso, as well as the World Bank Group and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
At the conference, Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Development Diane Jacovella announced a top-up pledge of CAD $50 million, taking Canada’s total commitment to support the GFF’s efforts to $290 million through to 2020.
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Canada is a founding member of the GFF. It was at the 69th UN General Assembly in 2014, that Canada, Norway, the United States, and the World Bank announced the establishment of the GFF, as an innovative approach to health financing.
The GFF works with 27 countries to help investments in health generate a higher return, but also to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions. The result is that GFF-supported countries are able to reach their health-related goals, all the while ensuring positive long-term effects.
The GFF's next goal is to expand its reach to 50 countries with the greatest needs.
Since its launch, Canada has invested millions towards strengthening frontline health systems, and treating malaria as a means of reducing child mortality rates.
Earlier this year, Canada pledged to address barriers to education for women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected regions as part of its G7 commitment, including access to appropriate health care and health information.
“Canada strongly believes the Global Financing Facility is revolutionizing the way countries prioritize and finance investments in people. I’m particularly inspired by the GFF’s support for the integrated delivery of services for women, children and adolescents,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s minister of international development, said in a statement.
A personal message to global citizens around the world from @MClaudeBibeau after @CanadaDev pledged $50M CAD to @theGFF 🎉🎊 #GFFReplenishment#InvestInHealth— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) November 6, 2018
"Canada will continue to be a global health champion," she said. "Thank you again, and keep taking action!" pic.twitter.com/SaqJ24Wd8o
Over the last three months, Global Citizens took over 150,000 actions calling on Canada to renew its support for the GFF. This week, these actions paid off.
There is an annual shortfall of USD $33 billion in health financing that must be filled if we are to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by 2030. The GFF Trust Fund is designed to crowd in additional funds to help close this gap so Canada’s commitment will ultimately go well beyond its $50 million value.
Global Citizen welcomes Canada’s intention to continue championing the GFF and its life-saving work in support of women and children’s health in the years to come.
With Canada’s global health programming set to run out in early 2020, the government has indicated its intention to continue supporting the GFF through the second replenishment period of 2020 to 2023.
“Canada remains committed to supporting the GFF beyond 2020 to safeguard and promote a world where all women and girls have barrier-free access to the care and services they need to succeed,” Bibeau said.