Press Release

World Health, Development Agencies Welcome International Health Partnership Launched Today in London

5 September 2007
Author: UNFPA

NEW YORK/LONDON—Several of the world’s leading development and health agencies have welcomed the International Health Partnership launched today in London as renewed hope of saving millions of lives in developing countries.

The Partnership was launched by the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. He was joined by his Norwegian counterpart, Jens Stoltenberg, and leaders from all major health agencies and foundations, including Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Health ministers from seven ‘first wave’ programme countries—Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal and Zambia--also attended the launch.

“Progress towards achieving the key health targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is too slow, costs lives and must improve,” the agencies and foundations jointly stated, adding: “Urgent action is needed if we are to get back on track to reach these goals.” “One woman dies in childbirth each minute. Every day, about 28,000 children under five die from largely preventable causes, including malaria, more than 10,000 people are infected with HIV and 22,000 people become sick with tuberculosis.”

“This is neither fair nor tolerable,” they continued, adding, “rates of death and illness must be reduced, health inequalities resolved and access to basic health services vastly increased.”

UNFPA’s Ms Obaid hailed the Partnership saying: “By joining forces for a common goal, we can advance the right to health for millions of women, men and children.” “Through concerted efforts to strengthen health systems, we can dramatically improve maternal health, reduce child mortality and tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”

The International Health Partnership is part of a renewed global push to meet the health MDGs– cutting child and maternal deaths and fighting major diseases. It aims to make health cooperation work better for developing countries by:

  • focusing on improving health systems as a whole, not just on individual diseases or issues;
  •  
  • providing better coordination among donors; and
  •  
  • developing and supporting countries’ own health plans.
  •  

 Seven ‘first wave’ African and Asian countries will join the Partnership that is supported by donor governments and agencies. They have agreed that they would gain from closer donor coordination as they work to improve their health services. They have committed to increasing public funding for health care and to ensure that the poorest people have access to it.

The year 2007 marks the mid-point of the MDGs – promises made by the world’s richest countries to make poverty history by 2015 – and the 20th Anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. This milestone will be marked by organizations that promote the human right to maternal and other health, at the World Deliver Conference, to be held in London from 18 to 20 October.

For more details, please visit the read DFID press release.

 

Contact Information:

World Health Organization
Joel Schaefer, Tel: +41 22 791 4473, Mobile: +41 79 516 4756; schaeferj@who.int

GAVI Alliance
Jeffrey Rowland, Tel: +41 22 909 7165, mobile: +41 79 240 4559; jrowland@gavialliance.org

Global Fund
Jon Lidén, Tel: + 41 22 791 1723, Mobile: + 41 79 244 6006; jon.liden@theglobalfund.org

UNAIDS
Bret Brintzenhofe, Tel: +41 22 791 1698; brintzenhofeb@unaids.org

UNFPA
Abubakar Dungus, UNFPA New York, Tel. +1 212 297-5031; dungus@unfpa.org

UNICEF
Angela Hawke, Tel. +1 212 326 7269; ahawke@unicef.org

World Bank
Phil Hay, Mobile: +1 (202) 409 2909; phay@worldbank.org

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