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Canadian Press/Globe and Mail Examine ‘Loose Ends’ In G8’s Maternal, Child Health Initiative

The G8’s $5-billion initiative to improve maternal and child health “left many loose ends that need to be tied up before the countries can begin to make good on their commitment to save the lives of 1.3 million children under age five, and 64,000 mothers,” the Canadian Press/Globe and Mail reports. According to the article, while stakeholders welcome the G8 initiative, many find it “deeply underfunded and lacking in detail.”

The Canadian Press/Globe and Mail reports that not all G8 countries’ individual commitments have been made public and coordination is also challenging because each country can decide how to spend its donation. The news service notes, “now that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is no longer the host of the G8, there is no official commitment from Ottawa to keep pounding the pavement for more money” for the initiative. The article also addresses the additional $2.3 billion above what G8 countries committed, noting that “most of it” will come from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The G8 communique “lends its support to a United Nations joint action plan to improve the health of women and children. But that plan only gives suggestions, and is not a funding mechanism. It’s also not clear how much of the G8 money would be attached to that action plan,” according to the Canadian Press/Globe and Mail.

The article, which also addresses Canada’s specific commitment, includes feedback from a spokesperson for Canadian International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, a Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health representative and the president of Plan Canada (Scoffield, 7/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.