As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one — including in development.
On Wednesday (March 14), U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron presented their strategies to beat food insecurity in Africa, the effects of climate change on poor people, ineffective aid, and maternal and neonatal mortality.
Building the resilience of countries against humanitarian crises.
Improving maternal and child health.
Strengthening government transparency and accountability.
Following the establishment of an informal group of political champions for disaster resilience in September last year, the United States and the United Kingdom will be co-sponsoring a donor event this March to improve resilience in the Horn of Africa.
Meanwhile, as proof of the two countries’ commitment to averting preventable deaths among women and children, both heads of state said they are maintaining their commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The United Kingdom will also be hosting a major international event in July to boost support for increasing women’s access to family planning.
In addition, The United Kingdom will host an international conference on the use of new technologies and social media to promote the Open Government Partnership, established in 2011, late this year.
And as for Syria, Cameron, at a joint press conference with Obama at The White House, pledged another 2 million pounds ($3 million) in food and medical care for Syrians affected by the political turmoil in the country. At a U.K.-France summit in February, Cameron also pledged 2 million pounds in aid for people in Syria.
Both heads of state said their governments, together with the international community, are after a peaceful and political solution in Syria. This includes supporting Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan’s talks with Russia and China, which oppose the U.N. Security Council’s proposed move to pass a resolution imposing more sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Obama said it is the “most important work” the international community can do “right now.”
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a staff writer for Devex. She covers breaking international development news in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and the Pacific for the Development Newswire, often focusing on aid worker security. Jenny is also a regular contributor to the GDB and other Devex publications.