G20 Draft Communique Addresses Agricultural Investment In Developing Countries, ‘Influential Women’ Raise Awareness For Maternal Mortality

A draft G20 communique revealed Friday that the group of countries “has called on the World Bank to work with donor agencies to create a multilateral trust fund to increase agricultural investment in poor countries,” Reuters reports. In July, the G8 launched a $20 billion agriculture initiative to help developing countries.

Leaders who are meeting in Pittsburgh called for the World Bank and regional development banks to review “capital needs … by the first half of 2010,” Reuters writes (Wroughton, 9/25).

London’s Times reports on a Wednesday evening dinner on the sidelines of the summit where “300 of the globe’s most influential women” came together to “tackle one of the most pressing but least noticed issues holding back global economic recovery: maternal health.”

In a speech, “Sarah Brown, wife of the British Prime Minister, said … more than half a million women worldwide die each year from pregnancy-related causes, most of them preventable. Millions more suffer injuries and develop lifelong disabilities,” the Times writes. Brown said that improvements in maternal health could promote economic growth “by ensuring that women remained alive to feed, vaccinate, educate and nurture the next generation, as well as make their own economic contribution,” according to the Times.

Brown also “called on world leaders at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh … to put maternal health high on their agenda. This would help to ensure that the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals outlined in 2000, which include reducing maternal deaths by 75 percent, could be achieved by 2015” (Frean, 9/24).

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