As Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated in the Fall of 2013 when he announced support for nine projects with a global reach, improving the health of mothers, newborns and children and reducing the number of preventable deaths are top priorities for Canada.
Each year hundreds of thousands of women die during pregnancy or childbirth and 6.6 million children die before reaching the age of five. Many of these deaths can be prevented by proven, cost-effective, evidence-based interventions.
Canada is leading a global effort—the Muskoka Initiative—to mobilize global action to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world's poorest countries.
Canada is providing $1.1 billion in new funding between 2010 and 2015. Canada is also providing $1.75 billion in ongoing spending on maternal and child health programming, a total contribution of $2.85 billion.
In November 2010, Canada outlined how it's $2.85 billion contribution to the Muskoka Initiative would be organized. Through the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) initiative, funding follows three integrated paths, focuses on ten countries and involves multilateral, global and Canadian partners.
Strengthening health systems to improve service delivery to maternal, newborn, and child health at the local level by training more health workers and increasing access to adequately equip local health centres. Canada is working with country partners to:
Reducing the burden of diseases that are killing mothers and children. Canada is supporting the provision of medicines, vaccines, and actions needed to prevent and treat the prevalent diseases and illnesses that are the main causes of maternal and child mortality.
Improving nutrition by increasing access to healthful and nutritious food and essential micronutrient supplements that improve and save lives. Canada supports initiatives that improve nutritional health by:
Canada's geographic investments focus on countries with high child and maternal morbidity and mortality rates that have demonstrated they can make progress on maternal, newborn, and child health. In these countries, Canada works to increase access to health centres at the local level and ensure its sustainability over the long term. Canada focuses its efforts on the following 10 countries:
With multilateral and global partners, such as UN agencies, Canada works in countries where the need is greatest across the three paths of the initiative. Canada continues to support:
Canadian partners engage the expertise of health practitioners and extensive networks of local civil society organizations to address local and national health priorities. Through community-based efforts to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, they can extend the reach of national health services to rural and underserved areas. In many high burden countries, civil society organizations provide the main platform by which to reach vulnerable groups and are able to respond in a timely and effective way to needs identified by communities.
Launched on November 2, 2010, the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program is providing $75 million over five years to partner-driven projects that deliver concrete development results in countries with high rates of maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
For more information on specific MNCH projects supported by Canada in various countries and regions around the world, please visit the Project Browser.