‘How do we put the world on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?’ asks a coalition of 200 companies and development organizations

  • Side-event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York asks what is required to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 before the 2015 deadline
  • Current reduction in child and maternal deaths is insufficient to reach the MDG targets

Without swift progress the world will not meet its child mortality focused Millennium Development Goal until 2028 — 13 years after the deadline. But how to put the world on track to save millions from dying of preventable causes? That’s the question World Vision and GBCHealth – a coalition of 200 companies and organizations working to address health needs – are asking at a side-event of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

The Unfinished Business: Partnering to Reach Every Woman Every Child side-event on Tuesday, 24 September will bring together global health experts, business leaders and government representatives to discuss the urgent action needed to achieve MDGs four and five by their 2015 deadline. 

MDG four is seeking to reduce the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds, while the fifth goal is focused on reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters.

“We’ve made significant progress towards MDGs four and five. In 1990, there were more than 12 million under-five deaths globally, but in 2012 this had reduced to 6.6 million,” says World Vision’s Director of Maternal and Child Health, Mesfin Teklu.

"However, progress has been uneven, with marked disparities between and within countries. We believe greater efforts must be made in the next two years to identify those being left behind and to target resources where they can have the most impact.”

World Vision’s Child Health Now campaign is calling on leaders gathered at the General Assembly to ‘Close the Gap’ by publicly recommitting to their promises to improve child and maternal health, and to ensure greater attention is given to closing the health inequality gap.

GBCHealth has also been rallying companies to dramatically step-up their efforts to achieve the goals through scaling up proven and cost-effective interventions that target the most vulnerable.

“Immediate and concerted action is needed to achieve MDGs 4 and 5,” says GBCHealth Executive Director Michael Schreiber. “The good news is it can be done.” 

“This will require greater collaboration between governments, civil society and the private sector, which has a major role to play. Resources will need to be drawn from all quarters and innovative approaches and partnerships forged if we are to save the lives of millions of mothers and children before 2015.”