‘Accelerating Action in Africa’: Ending Preventable Maternal and Child Deaths Within a Generation

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 6, 2014) — Save the Children Action Network welcomes the commitment by the Obama administration to save the lives of 8 million children and 350,000 mothers by 2020, and to “Accelerate Action in Africa” to end preventable maternal and child deaths. The U.S. Africa Summit concluded in Washington, D.C., today with a pledge by the U.S. to work with African nations on these key deliverables.

“This is a promising first step for the survival of moms and their babies in Africa, and its importance requires strong and sustained presidential leadership. The future of Africa is all about the well-being of children – and with one in 10 children dying there every day, it is critical we act now,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network. “We look forward to working with President Obama, USAID Administrator Raj Shah and other U.S. government and African leaders on ‘Accelerating Action in Africa,’ to reach our collective goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths within a generation.”

Save the Children Action Network calls on the president to announce the creation of a high-level, international, multilateral action tank comprised of experts from civil society, U.S. and African governments and the private sector to produce new policy recommendations, and to develop a financing framework by Mothers’ Day 2015. This group should begin convening at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

The announcement at the Summit elevates the administration’s “Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths,” a report released by USAID that provided an evidence-based plan for increased progress on maternal, newborn, and child health through 2020. This week’s announcement, “Accelerating Action in Africa,” builds on this vision and offers a framework for Africa to contribute to a bolder global effort that brings in new partners and mobilizes new resources to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

“I am very encouraged the U.S. government is making this commitment. This will help give Africa’s children what we want for all children around the world: a healthy start in life,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children.

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Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.