The U.K. is backing its proposed global action plan for achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals by 2015 with new commitments to support health, nutrition and climate change initiatives in the developing world.
DFID plans to support initiatives in Sierra Leone, Nepal, Ghana, Burundi, Liberia and Ghana that offer free health services to the poor. The agency committed 50 million pounds for Sierra Leone and 55 million pounds for Nepal. The other countries will be receiving advice and technical assistance through a new Center for Progressive Health Financing, which was established with 5 million pounds in DFID funds.
DFID also committed 150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. Part of it will pay for new diarrhea and pneumonia vaccines. The agency estimates that the money will prevent up to 4.2 million deaths over the next five years.
Another initiative unveiled by Alexander is a new drive to boost the global fight against malnutrition. The initiative will focus on Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Nepal and Zimbabwe, which are home to half of the world’s undernourished children. The initiative will be first implemented in India where DFID will invest 110 million to support anti-malnutrition drives in the states of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh over the next five years.
The new U.K. commitments also include a 50 million pound climate and development knowledge network, which DFID will fund over five years. The network aims to link developing countries with climate change experts to help them develop policies for effectively tackling the effects of climate change.
Finally, the U.K. will invest 8 million pounds in a technology program currently supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor. DFID’s support will help the program provide financial services to 30 million poor people. These services will be delivered through innovative means, which include mobile phones and related technologies.