Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg recently unveiled a new World Health Organization (WHO)-led collaboration of governments and organizations designed to improve maternal and child health worldwide. Deliver Now for Women + Children aims to spur progress on UN”s Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, which call for a two-thirds reduction in child deaths and a three-quarters reduction in maternal mortality by 2015.
Deliver Now was founded in reaction to slow progress on these goals, as well as those of the World Bank”s Safe Motherhood Initiative of 1987. More than ten million women and children still die each year due to preventable causes–more than the resulting deaths of AIDS and TB combined, according to the WHO.
Norway has donated $1 billion dollars to the campaign; other major donors include Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, and Great Britain. Although these donations are coming from developed countries, Dr. Arletty Pinel, Team Leader of Deliver Now, stresses that this campaign is also about local governments and NGOs saying “enough is enough” regarding the crisis of maternal and child mortality.
World leaders will be meeting in London later this month for a Women Deliver Conference to galvanize political will on the issue.