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G8 media alert

A G8 report released today in Paris indicating an increase in financing for women's and children's health was welcomed by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).

In 2010, the G8 launched the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, with an initial commitment of US$5 billion by 2015. The G8 2011 Accountability Report today suggests that collectively the G8 will surpass this initial commitment by roughly 53%.

"The G8 continues to lead on maternal, newborn and child health," says Dr. Julio Frenk, Chair of the Board of PMNCH, and Dean of Harvard's School of Public Health.

"Under Canada in 2010, Muskoka was a game changer in terms of donor commitments. In 2011, France has focussed on accountability, which is critically important to ensuring that commitments are honoured," he says.

"The US G8 year in 2012 will also be an important opportunity for progress, given the strong US record on accountability, as well as their strong support for women in development," said Dr. Carole Presern, PMNCH Director.

The 2011 G8 report outlines commitments to the Muskoka Initiative by each G8 member: Canada - C$1.1 billion; France - 500 million; Germany - 400 million; Italy - US$75 million; Japan - US$500 million; Russia - US$75 million; United Kingdom - 2.1 billion; US - US$1.346 billion; EU - $70 million.

While the G8 does not provide a new aggregate figure, a roll-up of each commitment suggests that collectively G8 members will spend US$7.656 billion for the Muskoka Initiative by 2015. *

The increased from US$5 billion to US$7.656 billion can largely be attributed to an increased commitment by the UK in September 2010, as part of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health.

The Muskoka Initiative was part of the Global Strategy, launched in September 2010 with US$40 billion in commitments, to dramatically reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths in developing countries.

PMNCH is leading on a report analyzing the US$40 billion, to be released in September 2011.

Presern says early analysis of commitments to the Global Strategy show emerging support for family planning. "This is very good news, as there was a financing gap in this area. Improving access to family planning is highly effective in reducing maternal deaths and newborn deaths.


Contact: Tracey Fyfe
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

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