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UNICEF Canada Welcomes Canada’s Pledge of $1.1 Billion Towards Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, but Large Funding Gap Still Remains

2010-06-25

TORONTO, 25 June 2010 – UNICEF Canada welcomes today’s commitment made by the Canadian Government of $1.1 billion in new investment towards maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). Canada’s contribution, combined with the other G8 country investments, will improve the health of the world’s poorest women and children, but more is needed to close the current estimated $30 billion funding gap still required to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on maternal and child health by 2015.

The release of the G8 Accountability Report and the efforts made in establishing a structure to account for today’s and past promises is an encouraging signal that, although lower than expected, today’s overall G8 pledge of $5 billion in new resources is more likely to be realized.

“Today’s investment by the Canadian government in maternal, newborn and child health has the potential to make an immediate impact in reducing child and maternal mortality, but more is needed from the international community,” said Meg French, Director International Programmes, UNICEF Canada. "The next step is to ensure that the G8 member commitments made today are fulfilled and that much more money gets put on the table in the months and years ahead. The lives of millions of mothers and children depend on it."

The joining of G8 and non-G8 member countries together with other actors in contributing towards today’s commitment is a positive sign that global action to end the preventable deaths of women and children is possible. UNICEF Canada will continue to engage on the issue of maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition and in advocating for it as a global priority.

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ABOUT UNICEF CANADA
UNICEF Canada engages in fundraising and advocacy within Canada on behalf of UNICEF. UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit  www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

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