Canadian focus on the most fragile

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Brett Tarver
Manager, PR & Communications

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Highlights:

60% of maternal deaths in fragile places are preventable
World Health Day recommendations from World Vision Canada. Photo/World Vision
(April 07, 2016)
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Today on World Health Day, the critical key for Canada to  help unlock further global progress in women's and children's health is to prioritize places affected by instability, conflict and disaster, says Canada's largest international development organization. According to World Vision, a focus on fragile contexts will reduce the highest rates of maternal and child mortality and malnutrition in the world. 

World Vision welcomes Canada's continued leadership to improve the lives of women and children. Over the past five years, 44 per cent of Canada's funding for women's and children's health has targeted fragile countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, all of which top mortality and malnutrition lists.  Since the election in October, there have been encouraging signals, indicating a political desire to focus on the most vulnerable women and children. However, further steps need to be taken to help preserve the lives and rights of people who are especially at risk amidst instability and conflict. 

By 2030, two thirds of the world's most vulnerable people will be found in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, the majority of them children. That's why World Vision is urging Canada to sharpen the focus of its women's and children's health programming  by using new and more effective ways of delivering development and humanitarian assistance. This is critical to build on the important gains and investments that Canada has made in women's and children's health in recent years. 

Quotes

"Canada has long been a leader on global health for people who need help the most, particularly women and children. It's an investment which has achieved significant impact and reflects the values of millions of Canadians. But with the majority of preventable maternal and child deaths now concentrated in fragile and conflict-affected places, we're asking for Canada's humanitarian and development responses to become more flexible and longer term to sustainably meet the needs of the world's most vulnerable people." 
- Michael Messenger, president, World Vision Canada. 

"When health systems break down due to instability, conflict or natural disaster, the poorest families, particularly women and children, suffer the most from ill health and premature death. Women, especially adolescent girls, face tremendous barriers to realizing their rights and accessing even the most basic services like pre-natal checkups, family planning or good nutrition.  Canadian contributions can change that." 
- Michael Messenger, president, World Vision Canada. 

Facts - Fragile places face: 

• 60% of preventable maternal deaths 
• 53% of deaths in children younger than 5 years 
• 45% of neonatal deaths 
• 60% of the world's malnourished people 
• 64% of unattended births 
• Higher adolescent birth rates and unmet need for family planning