More details have emerged in the past couple weeks on the G8’s commitment to improve maternal, newborn and child health through the “Muskoka Initiative,” but not enough to deliver on the G8’s other critical commitment at the 2010 summit – to enhance their own accountability.
Somewhat buried in the flow of announcements and press releases surrounding the G8/G20 meetings last weekend, the White House issued a statement Friday that President Obama had outlined his vision for a new US policy on global development. This is especially welcome news as it suggests that we’ll soon see the results of a delayed Presidential Study Directive (PSD) on Global Development, an effort the President launched last September.
As ONE’s Kimberley Hunter reported from Toronto this weekend, on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister and G8 host Stephen Harper announced that the G8 would be contributing an additional $5 billion towards maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries over the next five years. Other donors – like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland – pledged $2.3 billion, bringing the total up to $7.3 billion.
Every year, approximately 350,000 mothers die from complications during child birth and 8.8 million children die before their fifth birthday. We are desperately off track to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on child and maternal health and expectations were high for the G8 summit to deliver results.