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UNICEF and Canada join forces to improve health and nutrition services for mothers and young children in Bangladesh


DHAKA, October 15, 2013: UNICEF and the Government of Canada are joining forces to improve health and nutrition for hard-to-reach mothers and young children. Canada’s support to UNICEF will help strengthen immunization efforts through the introduction of new vaccines, as well as improve the coverage of other essential health and nutrition services to over 7.3 million people.

With a Canadian $19.9 million (USD$20.2 million) contribution from Canada covering 2013 to 2018 UNICEF will use this funding to improve the health of mothers and young children living in areas of Bangladesh that are currently not easily accessed by health care providers.

Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in reducing under-five and maternal mortality in the last decade. Under 5 mortality rate has declined from 133 in 1991 to 53 in 2011 and maternal mortality has declined from 322 per 1,000 live births in 2001 to 194 per 1,000 live births in 2010. However, national averages hide important spatial and income related disparities.

Earlier this year, the Government of Bangladesh committed to end preventable child deaths and reduce under five mortality by 20 per 1,000 live births by 2035. To achieve this goal, interventions that are proven through rigorous research to address the remaining preventable causes of child mortality in Bangladesh need to be implemented at scale, with a focus on the most deprived communities.

“Bangladesh has the 4th most rapid rate of decline in child mortality. With this generous support from Canada, it will be possible to achieve high levels of coverage of existing and innovative life saving interventions, such as new vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhea, and ensure that no child is left behind,” said UNICEF Bangladesh Representative, Pascal Villeneuve.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to improving the health of women and children in developing countries and reducing the unacceptable mortality rates faced each year by these vulnerable populations. I am pleased that Canada is supporting this important project with UNICEF,” said High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh, Heather Cruden.



UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230,
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806,