World Bank-led financing facility aims to boost progress on MDGs 4, 5

A woman with her newborn in a post-natal ward of a hospital in Sri Lanka. The World Bank will announce a new financing facility to accelerate progress on maternal and child health. Photo by: Dominic Sansoni / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

Significant gains have been made since the Millennium Development Goals were established in 2000. But with less than 500 days to go before the 2015 deadline, more progress is needed to meet MDG 4, which aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and MDG 5, which targets a three-quarters drop in maternal deaths.

That’s why the World Bank is set to announce Thursday more details about a new instrument to coordinate and leverage financial resources to boost maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in developing countries from 2015 to 2030.

Although the idea has been in the works for some time, it was only discussed in public for the first time this week by Dr. Tim Evans, senior director of the bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, who said the institution is ready to make an initial — yet undisclosed — commitment to ensure that “we can finance starting now” to achieve by 2030 the ultimate goal of ending all preventable childbirth-related deaths by 2030.

“We know that most maternal mortality is easily preventable. And we know most child mortality is easily preventable,” Evans noted during an event in New York attended by Devex Monday. “Yet, we’re in a situation where unfortunately, very unfortunately … those essential entitlements for mothers and children are the exception in most health systems.”

It’s not too late to turn the situation around, he said, but we must be “smarter and more strategic” as well as marshal resources from the public and private sectors in developing countries if we are to succeed in providing women and girls the essential health services they are “entitled to.”

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About the author

  • Jeff Tyson

    Jeff is a former global development reporter for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers multilateral affairs, U.S. aid, and international development trends. He has worked with human rights organizations in both Senegal and the U.S., and prior to joining Devex worked as a production assistant at National Public Radio. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from the University of Rochester.