By Asma’u Ahmad
Several countries, global agencies and other donors pledged $1 billion on Tuesday toward helping women and children at a fundraising meeting of the Global Financing Facility (GFF).
The money raised at the session in Oslo will be used to improve health and nutrition for mothers and children in some of the world’s poorest countries. The GFF, set up in 2015, is active in 27 nations.
The World Bank, one of the organisations that support the GFF, said it would match Tuesday’s contributions with $7.5 billion for similar programmes, said Chief Executive, Kristalina Georgieva.
“Each day, 830 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, and 450,000 children under five [years old] die needlessly every month,” she said.
Health Reporters gathered that the host country Norway has pledged to contribute $360 million.
Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said the GFF was “an efficient and effective instrument.”
Private donors included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which committed $200 million.
“Healthy women, children and adolescents contribute to a virtuous cycle,” said Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Foundation.
Several poorer countries said they were committed to increasing their funding to national health programmes.
Burkina Faso, for instance, said it would allocate at least 15 per cent of its budget to improve health.
Roch Kabore, the West African country’s president, said the GFF helped countries “set priorities and drive domestic resource mobilisation.”