Why Global Citizens Should Care
Every day, more than 800 women and girls die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. But there’s a movement of countries, companies, and charities attempting to fight for their lives — and the Global Financing Facility's replenishment was a defining moment. Take action here to protect vulnerable women and children around the world.

On Nov. 6, world leaders and organizations gathered in Olso, Norway, to collectively pledge $1 billion to improve health for women, children, and adolescent girls in the world’s lowest-income countries at the Global Financing Facility (GFF) replenishment conference.

The government of Norway co-hosted the conference and contributed the largest amount: $360 million until 2023.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Laerdal Global Health, and MSD for Mothers, plus the governments of Canada, Japan, Qatar, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the European Commision also made contributions. Perhaps most significantly, two lower-income countries that receive financing from the GFF — Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire — also made contributions to the trust fund.

Take Action: The UK Pledged to Help Save 35 Million Lives! Let’s Celebrate — and Ask the Government to Keep It Up

The GFF works with governments to help prioritize health efforts in recipient countries to help them achieve their health-related goals. The $1 billion raised last week will go towards a number of GFF initiatives, including these top five.

1. The GFF Will Expand Into More Countries 

The GFF is currently providing support to 27 countries. The replenishment will enable it to expand its support to countries with the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates that have expressed a demand and need for GFF support, according to Mariam Claeson, director of the GFF. 

“Support through the GFF partnership will allow for more governments to invest in human capital and prioritize populations furthest left behind, saving millions of lives of women, children, and adolescents,” Claeson told Global Citizen by email.

2. Domestic Resources for Health and Nutrition Will Increase

As the GFF expands, so too will domestic resources for health and nutrition. By working with the GFF, countries like Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nigeria — who all committed funding to the replenishment — have shown that it is possible for all countries to improve their future and invest in their most vulnerable people by increasing investment in health, Claeson said.  

The hope is that as the GFF expands its work, more countries will follow suit, thus creating efficiencies and implementing key health financing reforms needed to mobilize domestic resources for health.

3. This Funding Will Lead to More Sources of Financing

One of the most significant announcements was the World Bank announcing it would match the USD $1 billion raised at the conference. An additional USD $7.5 billion from the World Bank’s two lending arms — the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — was also announced as a result.

4. This Will Help Increase Access to High-Impact Interventions

Increased support through the GFF will help prioritize interventions across the full reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition spectrum, and address areas critical to health outcomes such as nutrition, education, social protection, and gender, Claeson explained.

5. The GFF Will Further Invest in Partnerships That Will Save Millions of Lives

It is estimated that countries could save as many as 35 million lives by the year 2030 if global health investment continues to grow at current rates, Claeson told Global Citizen, quoting a recent peer-reviewed study published in the journal BMJ Global Health.

This reflects the combined efforts that contribute to changing the outcomes on maternal, newborn, and child mortality rates, from the GFF to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; UNAIDS; FP2020; and other partners.  

If other global health initiatives hit targets, and if the GFF partnership can extend its reach and help all 50 countries with the greatest health and nutrition needs, the world will continue with its current momentum towards 2030.


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By Diana Duong