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Bank, 'Big 8' Health Leaders Agree on Strategy to Help Poor Nations

Bank, 'Big 8' Health Leaders Agree on Strategy to Help Poor Nations
(Left-right) World Bank Health, Nutrition and Population Vice President Joy Phumaphi; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health president Tadataka Yamada; UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine; UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman; GAVI Alliance Executive Secretary Julian Lob-Levyt; WHO Director - General Margaret Chan; and UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Michel Sidibe attend the first Informal Meeting
  • 02 August 2007

New York – Global health leaders from eight international organizations, including the World Bank, have agreed on a coordinated plan to help developing countries with health funding and technical and policy assistance.

In their statement, the leaders said there is a "need to stimulate a global collective sense of urgency for reaching the health-related MDGs [the eight Millennium Development Goals]." Every day around 28,000 children under five die from largely preventable causes and 1,400 women die of pregnancy-related causes."

The leaders, meeting in New York, also called attention to the 350 million to 500 million new cases of malaria and 4 million cases of HIV infection and 9 million cases of TB infection.

"Despite important progress in some countries and for some indicators, the international community, in partnership with countries, must accelerate and intensify efforts dramatically in order to reach all of the health-related MDGs," the leaders said.

The MDGs  which were signed with universal acclamation at the September 2000 UN Millennial Summit, and which are strongly supported by the World Bank, focus strongly on improving health of poor people, especially mothers and young children.

At their meeting, the ‘Big 8" health leaders also agreed to work for:

  • "A coordinated inter-agency approach for providing high-quality, demand-driven technical assistance and a collectively supported and robust monitoring and evaluation system."
  • "A more systematic and robust approach to knowledge management and learning."
  • "Strengthening integrated [health] delivery systems across the public and private sectors, creating opportunities for private sector involvement and investment."

Developing nations generally don’t have the capacity to deliver health care on any scale. The gap must be filled by donor nations and the overall development community.

Leaders and their organizations agreeing on the new health strategy to help poorer nations included, besides Joy Phumaphi, Vice President, Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank, Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’ Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary; GAVI Alliance; Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director, UNFPA; Michel Sidibe, Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS’ Ann Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF; and Tadataka Yamada, President, Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The group agreed to meet again in early 2008 to monitor progress on the commitments agreed to in New York.

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