Minister of State Kent Promotes Maternal and Child Health in Africa

(No. 236 – July 25, 2010 – 3 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today concluded a three-day trip to Kampala, Uganda, where he participated in the 15th African Union (AU) Summit.

“Canada deeply values its relationship with the African continent,” said Minister of State Kent. “Growing more confident on the world stage, while improving living standards at home, Africa stands to play a transformational role in the 21st century.”

The theme of this year’s AU Summit, Maternal, Infant, and Child Health and Development in Africa, reflects an issue that was at the forefront of the recent G-8 Summit. In a speech reporting on the outcomes of the G-8 and G-20 summits to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting, Minister of State Kent promoted the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, which has been adopted by the G-8 countries and endorsed by African child health leaders.

“This Canada-led initiative, first announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, will allow us to make great strides toward our ultimate goal: saving the lives of mothers, newborns and children in developing countries,” said Minister of State Kent.

Through its comprehensive and integrated approach, the Muskoka Initiative will greatly reduce the number of maternal, newborn and under-five child deaths in developing countries. Canada’s commitment to this initiative will be $1.1 billion in new funding, of which 80 percent will go to sub-Saharan Africa.

The Minister of State, who was joined by Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, held a series of meetings with African leaders on issues of shared interest, including economic development, security and peacekeeping.

For more details, please consult the Address by the Honorable Peter Kent to the 15th African Union Summit

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