Canada’s Prime Minister Announces $200M Over 5 Years For Maternal, Child Health Projects

At a U.N. panel on maternal and child health on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the country would spend $200 million over five years to fund nine maternal and child health projects in developing countries “that will help to pay for more immunizations, provide basic health care and set up community services to ease the dangers of childbirth and pregnancy,” the Canadian Press/GlobalPost reports. “The money detailed Wednesday is part of Canada’s commitment of nearly $3 billion over five years to the issue of maternal and child health, part of the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health launched by G8 partners at the Muskoka Summit in 2010,” the news agency writes (9/25). “Harper highlighted that the initiative started at the Muskoka meeting involved not just promises of funding, but also new standards of accountability for delivering them,” the Globe and Mail reports, adding, “Canada has already distributed two-thirds of the money it committed, he said, and is on track to fulfill its pledges by 2015” (Slater, 9/25). “Before the maternal health panel, Harper met privately with computer billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates,” the CP/GlobalPost notes, adding, “Harper said their international charitable foundation is a great partner for Canada” (9/25).