26 SEPTMBER – One of the world’s leading Christian aid agencies has announced an unprecedented $3 billion investment to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents globally.
The investment is part of World Vision’s commitment to the second phase of the Every Woman Every Child movement—the first phase was launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2010. It is credited with playing a major part in saving 2.4 million women and children from preventable deaths. The movement’s Global Strategy 2.0 is being launched on September 26 during the Sustainable Development Goal summit in New York.
“Every Woman Every Child made an historic achievement possible for millions of the world's most neglected women and children,” said World Vision International’s President Kevin Jenkins. “Challenging politicians and leaders of business, civil society and faith communities to make bold, concrete commitments to improving maternal and child health caused us to ask ourselves: What more could we do to make a difference?
“World Vision made a financial commitment of $1.5bn from 2010 to 2015 for health, nutrition, HIV and AIDS, water, sanitation and hygiene, in alignment with the Every Woman Every Child movement’s priorities. That commitment was independently assessed, and we exceeded it by $500 million,” said Mr Jenkins. “Our passion for this cause inspired 20 million people in 70 countries to join us in speaking up on behalf of women’s and children’s health through our Child Health Now campaign. We have seen many national policies and practices improved as a result.”
Mr Jenkins said World Vision is recommitting itself to the Every Woman Every Child vision in line with its policies, programmes and principles as a Christian organisation.
The organisation will engage partners, donors and sponsors to provide the money to boost the impact of its health, nutrition, water, sanitation, health and food programming in development and humanitarian emergency responses; its operational research and in advocacy.
“Tangible outcomes will include 100,000 new Community Health Workers trained, citizen engagement strengthened, a multi-stakeholder partnership for water, sanitation and health, and around 300,000 faith leaders taking action in 50 countries.”
Amina Mohammad, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning asked Kevin Jenkins to encourage other leaders of Faith-Based Organisations to make their own commitments to the Global Strategy based on their priorities and programmes.
World Vision’s Partnership Leader for Sustainable Health, Martha Newsome, said the organisation is eager to partner with other civil society, academic institutions, corporations and anyone else who shares a vision to bring preventable maternal and child deaths to zero.
“This is the most World Vision has ever invested in protecting the lives of women, children and adolescents,” she said. “This investment will amplify our work to address malnutrition, HIV transmission, unsafe water, and killer diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria. We will continue to invest more smartly, to foster and share information and knowledge, and to grow partnerships with anyone who believes in ensuring the most vulnerable stay healthy.”
World Vision, as a partner in two coalitions, is also making additional commitments to the Global Strategy 2.0. The Faith Alliance for Health comprises five non-governmental organisations: Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Medical Missions Board, Episcopal Relief and Development, Islamic Relief - US, and World Vision. It has committed to organising or augmenting country-level platforms that will coalesce religious communities to strengthen health programmes.
World Vision, White Ribbon Alliance and Save the Children have also committed to lead a collaborative global effort to mobilise and support key civil society constituencies, including health professionals, women, faith groups and young people to respond to the challenges set out in the Global Strategy.
“We can all be champions of maternal and child health and agents of transformation,” said Mr Jenkins. “This is key moment in history. If we do this right, future generations of women and children will say: ‘This was when the world changed in our favour.’"
Notes to Editors
- World Vision specifically commits to:
- Strategically align our Health; Nutrition; HIV & AIDS; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene investments to contribute towards the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health;
- Remain a leading CSO investor in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health by investing at least US$3 billion between 2016 and 2020 in Health, Nutrition, HIV & AIDS and WASH to accelerate the goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. This includes our significant investments in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health during humanitarian emergencies and in fragile and conflict-affected contexts;
- Significantly contribute to increasing the evidence base of implementation research for women’s and children’s health by investing at least US$2 million in operational research;
- Train, equip and support 100,000 Community Health Workers in countries where we are currently working;
- Initiate and support at least one new multi-stakeholder partnership that delivers results for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health;
- Advocate for women’s and children’s health and nutrition by investing at least US$15 million in advocacy and playing a leading role in global efforts to build a culture of accountability at all levels, including through strong citizen engagement; and
- Mobilise around 300,000 faith leaders in 50 countries to facilitate change towards supportive attitudes and positive behaviour change in support of Every Woman Every Child.
- World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.wvi.org