World leaders met this week and pledged $16 billion to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The goals seek to cut extreme poverty in half and were adopted unanimously by UN member states in 2000. One focus of the new monetary commitments is on protecting and improving health conditions for women globally.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the commitments include $2.2 billion to provide water and sanitation services for 30 million people. Pledges relating to child mortality and the promotion of maternal health will total almost $2 billion next year and will rise to $7 billion in 2015. Additionally, $12 billion will be provided to train 21 million birth attendants with the goal of preventing maternal death in childbirth.
In his remarks Ki-moon noted that “access to clean water and sanitation are critical for progress on health and education, especially for girls…I welcome the initiatives to empower women all over the world.”