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USAID To Shift $2.9B In Maternal, Child Health Funding To Target 24 High-Risk Countries

News outlets report on developments surrounding the “Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths” meeting, held Wednesday and sponsored by USAID and the governments of Ethiopia and India, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners.

Devex: What USAID’s $2.9B maternal and child health ‘realignment’ means for you
“…As a result of [a two-year ‘blue ribbon’ review of the agency’s maternal and child health programs], led by Ray Chambers, the U.N. special envoy for financing the health Millennium Development Goals and malaria, and which involved such other health luminaries as Paul Farmer and Helene Gayle, USAID will ‘realign’ its $2.9 billion maternal and child health portfolio over the next three years in an effort to prioritize certain interventions over others, depending on a given country context — and, the agency hopes, save up to 500,000 lives…” (Igoe, 6/25).

Christian Science Monitor: Why USAID is shifting maternal health funds toward Africa, Asia
“The U.S. Agency for International Development announced today that 26 countries have done so well at achieving maternal and child health goals that they’re now on their own. Their funding will instead go to 24 countries where mothers and children are still dying at alarming rates…” (Zilrunick, 6/25).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Efforts to lower maternal and child deaths fall short, USAID targets 24 high-risk countries
“Countries are falling short in meeting the global goal to end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035, despite a U.S.-led plan launched two years ago to accelerate progress, a report released on Wednesday said…” (Dawson, 6/25).

TIME: USAID Wants To Save 15 Million Kids by 2020
“…USAID’s new plan includes working in partnership with host countries, non-governmental and faith based organizations. Each of its proposed actions is grounded in data and tailored to the needs of individual countries…” (Rhodan, 6/25).

VOA News: New Plan Aims to Cut Maternal, Child Deaths By 80 Percent
“UNICEF, the United States and the governments of India and Ethiopia have issued a call to action — a new initiative to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of mothers and their children who die each year from preventable causes…” (Buckwalter, 6/25).

VOA News: USAID Unveils New Efforts to Reduce Child and Maternal Deaths
“…USAID also plans $650 million in partnership awards with nearly two dozen companies to help distribute life saving drugs like amoxicillin to 5,500 rural villages…” (Diallo, 6/25).

Washington Post: With help of private industry, USAID review finds $2.9 billion for maternal, child health
“…In an unusual move last year, Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, convened an external panel that included corporate executives and millionaire philanthropists to review every dollar the agency spent and hunt for inefficiencies. ‘They came up with a lot of things we didn’t think about,’ Shah said in an interview…” (Cha, 6/25).