U.S. Investments Making an Impact in Saving the Lives of Mothers and Children Around the World

Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2016) – U.S. government investments through USAID’s Global Health Programs are making a difference in saving the lives of mothers and children around the world, according to USAID’s 2016 Acting on the Call report, released today.

The report lays out an outline with a new emphasis on reaching the hardest to reach women and children. According to the report, focusing on the poorest 40 percent of the population can save 8 million lives – closing three-quarters of the remaining gap to the 2020 goal laid out by the 2014 Acting on the Call report to save 15 million children and 600,000 mothers by 2020.

In addition to the report, USAID announced a new $9.2 million program – called Integrating Community Health – that will leverage an additional $10 million investment from other sources and is designed to strengthen the role of community health in USAID’s efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths.

“I want to commend USAID for its strong leadership in ensuring that the world is on track to end preventable child and maternal deaths. This progress speaks not only to America’s global leadership but also to the compassion of the American people,” said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. “But to achieve the ambitious goal of ending these deaths, we must accelerate our efforts to reach the women and children of the world who are often forgotten or hidden. That’s why Save the Children has launched our Every Last Child campaign to reach children who are the most vulnerable and too often excluded due to poverty, geography, gender, ethnicity or disability.”

Since 1990, deaths of mothers and children under age 5 worldwide have been nearly cut in half. This is one of the great success stories in international development over the last 25 years. Progress has largely been achieved with simple solutions and proven, inexpensive interventions that address leading causes of death, including diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition and complications during pregnancy and birth.

Strong support for maternal and child health and nutrition within USAID Global Health Programs is imperative to continuing progress toward ending preventable maternal and child deaths.

“For the first time, we see within our reach a grand convergence in health, in which women and children in the poorest communities have the same access to quality health services as those in the wealthiest,” said Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator for Global Health and Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator for USAID. “This is within our grasp.”

Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network support $880 million for the Maternal and Child Health account and $230 million for Nutrition in FY 2017. With the incredible progress that’s been made, it’s clear that now is the time to accelerate progress and not the time to take the foot off the gas pedal in ending preventable maternal and child deaths.

Highlights from the new report on progress being made to reach mothers and children include:

  • Since 2008, USAID efforts in 24 priority countries have contributed to saving the lives of 4.6 million children and 200,000 women.
  • Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda are on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ under-5 mortality target of 25 child deaths (or fewer) per 1,000 live births by 2030.
  • Countries like Ethiopia show what can be achieved through investments in maternal and child health, strong political will, and in collaboration with partner governments. Since 1990, Ethiopia’s population has nearly quadrupled, while the number of under-5 deaths per year has dropped by approximately 73 percent and maternal mortality has fallen by 81 percent.

Save the Children’s new global campaign, Every Last Child, is aimed at tackling one of the greatest challenges our generation faces: reducing deaths among excluded children who are the hardest to reach.

Breaking down major barriers – financial, discriminatory and lack of accountability of those in power – is imperative in the fight to achieve inclusion and ensure all children receive basic rights. These barriers must be tackled systematically at every level to ensure no child is left behind.

###

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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.