Canada must use G7 meeting to gain momentum on child & maternal health and push for Syrian peace and aid pledges
OTTAWA, Ont. (June 4, 2014)—As G7 leaders prepare to meet today in Brussels, aid and development agency World Vision is calling on Prime Minister Harper to maximize his few hours with these global leaders to address global poverty issues—particularly child and maternal health and the Syrian crisis.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health:
Just days ago at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child summit in Toronto, Canada announced $3.5 billion for child and maternal health for 2015 to 2020. Prime Minister Harper also committed to rally others around the world to ante up and make MNCH a top priority beyond 2015, beginning with the G7 Summit.
“Today’s G7 meeting is Canada’s first chance to secure the critical global support needed to reach the most vulnerable and realize the goal to end preventable deaths. The accelerated progress we’ve seen in the last few years is proof that with dedicated funding and accountability in place, lives can be saved,” says Sara Schulz, World Vision Canada’s senior policy advisor for child health. “The domino funding commitment effect we saw in 2010 needs to be repeated now, with Canada leading the way to end child and maternal preventable deaths. The G7 is the perfect place to start applying this pressure.”
- Since 1990, 90 million children’s lives have been saved. However, 6.6 million children under age five still die each year, mostly from preventable causes.
- This year, a quarter of a million more women will live through pregnancy and childbirth than five years ago. However, 287,000 women are still dying each year.
- 56 per cent of child and maternal deaths take place in fragile states.
In recent months, Canada has committed $50 million to the No Lost Generation initiative to support Syrian refugee children, bringing Canada’s total to $353 million in humanitarian assistance to this crisis. World Vision is calling on Prime Minister Harper to use today’s meetings to encourage other G7 countries to support the No Lost Generation initiative with dollars pledged.
“With this crisis continuing to devastate the lives of children and their families, G7 members need to ensure that Syrian children do not become a lost generation,” says Martin Fischer, World Vision Canada’s senior policy advisor for peacebuilding and humanitarian affairs. “And most critically, we can’t reach these children if humanitarian access does not improve. We strongly urge G7 members to make sure that we can reach the most vulnerable who are living in this war zone.”
- The No Lost Generation initiative focuses on education, health, nutrition and protection issues in countries most affected by the Syrian crisis.
- To date, nine million Syrians have fled their homes due to the ongoing violence, more than half of these are children.
- According to the UN, aid groups still need $5.3 US billion in 2014 to help children and families affected by the crisis.
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World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca