Maternal Health a Top UK Priority at Upcoming G8, G20 Meets

Maternal health is a top priority for many international donors this year's run-up to September's Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York. Photo by: Nick Cunard / DfID

The U.K. agrees with Canada that maternal health should be a top issue at the G-8 and G-20 summits, according to its prime minister.

The same issue will be the U.K.’s priority at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals gathering in September, David Cameron said in a June 3 article for the Guardian.

“The G8 should set an ambitious target of saving three million more lives by 2015,” Cameron added. “We should be ambitious, as we were in Britain 70 years ago. But we must back our words with real action.”

He said that as an initial step toward boosting maternal health in the developing world, the British government is creating a USD7.3 million fund to help British midwives and medical workers share their skills with birth attendants, doctors and nurses in poor countries.

In the same article, he said “there’ll be more” development aid but the government is taking a new approach to spending this money.

“It’s time to bring greater transparency and accountability to overseas aid,” he said, referring to plans to publish online details of all international development projects and create of an independent aid watchdog.

As reported by Devex, Cameron has ordered all government departments including the Department for International Development to publish spending data.

“Making sure that every pound counts means being realistic and practical about what aid can achieve,” Cameron said. “Without being hard-hearted, we have to be hard-headed.”

About the author

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.