U.N. Secretary-General To Ask G20 For Additional $60B Over 5 Years For Maternal, Child Health

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he plans to ask the G20 to follow through on aid promises and to commit an additional $60 billion over five years for lowering maternal and child mortality rates worldwide, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

“During the last 10 years, not much attention has been given to these particular two areas,” Ban said. “When mothers are healthy, families are healthy, the children are healthy. That means we have a very sound and healthy community, and community means country and the world” (Varner, 6/23).

Development advocates are highlighting what they call the G20’s poor progress on its commitments to the developing world, VOA News reports. “The leaders of the world’s 20 most important economies say they hope their summit will solidify the global economic recovery,” the news service writes. The article features the perspective of advocates from the U.N. Millennium Campaign, the Jubilee USA Network, Africa Action and an analyst from the Cato Institute (Socolovsky, 6/23).  

Media Outlets Cover Lead Up To G8, G20 Summits

As the G8 and G20 summits draw near, the Financial Times reports on Canada’s invitation to 10 “African, Caribbean and Latin American nations” to participate in the G8 meeting over the weekend. “Canadian government officials said on Wednesday that the invitations to Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Malawi, Colombia, Haiti and Jamaica were designed to refocus the G8 towards issues relating to development, peace and security,” the newspaper writes (Simon, 6/24).

VOA News examines response to the invitation in Nigeria (DeCapua, 6/23).  

Meanwhile, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is “calling on G8 leaders to fulfill their commitments to sharply reducing hunger,” another VOA News article reports. The news service interviews Shenggen Fan, IFPRI’s director-general, about the G8’s role in promoting global food security.

“Many donors, many international organizations have committed to increase their funding for global food security. That’s a good trend. But we have to convert this commitment of pledges to real action, real implementation. And we need to monitor which donors, which countries have really met their commitments,” Fan said (DeCapua, 6/24).

Also ahead of the summit, the Globe and Mail examines how unfulfilled commitments by G8 countries made in 2005 at the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland are resulting in antiretroviral drug shortages in Malawi and other African countries.

“That promise – to provide every AIDS patient with life-saving medicine – was supposed to have been fulfilled this year. Instead, the G8 gathers this week, attempting to rally around the cause of maternal health, with a legacy of failure on arguably the biggest promise the group has made,” the newspaper writes. It looks at how donor cuts have forced clinics in Malawi to ration drugs and looks at the consequences of the situation (York, 6/23).

CBC News interviews former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin about the upcoming G20 summit and the group’s evolving role. Topics discussed include the G20’s work on global poverty (Clibbon, 6/23).

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