WASHINGTON -- CARE supports the Canadian government's prioritization of maternal and child health at the upcoming G8 Summit and calls on all G8 nations to come prepared to reach an agreement for concrete funding commitments to support health care interventions that will save the lives of millions of mothers and children every year.
"Maternal mortality is nothing short of an epidemic. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth each year – that's one woman dying nearly every minute of every day," said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA. "These women aren't dying because we don't know how to prevent their deaths. They are dying because the world is failing to help."
Of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the world has made the least progress in achieving the targets set for goals four and five: reducing maternal and child mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health. Many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, have made little or no progress in reducing maternal mortality. Significant investment is needed if goals four and five are to be achieved by the 2015 deadline.
CARE, in partnership with other international organizations that work on maternal, newborn and child health programs, is calling on G8 nations to commit to a doubling of resources to $4 billion annually to accelerate progress on MDGs four and five. These investments would leverage the $30 billion (USD) in total global funding needed by 2015 to support maternal, newborn and child health care interventions.
"We don't have to wait for a medical breakthrough to save women's lives," said Gayle. "We already know how to prevent 90 percent of all maternal deaths. We need the financial resources and political will to continue to make progress."
As leaders in the field, CARE, Save the Children and Plan International have together reached out to President Obama thanking him for his leadership and asking that he call upon his G8 counterparts to use their political will to make the necessary commitments to achieve MDGs four and five.
CARE has more than 50 years of experience delivering maternal and child health projects in vulnerable communities around the world. In Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, CARE has succeeded in helping reduce fatality rates in emergency obstetric care facilities by 30 to 50 percent. With its Mothers Matter program, CARE's goal is to make pregnancy and delivery safer for 30 million women in Africa, Asia and Latin America by 2015.
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
JoDee Winterhof, CARE's Vice President, Policy & Advocacy Unit, is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Julie Bernstein at (202) 595-2832 or firstname.lastname@example.org.