Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality Through Innovative Partnerships and Financing

Canada's partnership with the GAVI Alliance saving millions of children's lives through immunization

March 27, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

At an event co-hosted by  Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, in partnership with RESULTS Canada and the GAVI Alliance, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, the Honourable Christian Paradis, emphasized during her opening remarks the need for innovative partnerships and financing to maximize health results for mothers and children in developing countries.

"To better save the lives of mothers and children, collective action is essential," said PS Brown. "Leveraging the capital, innovation and technical know-how of the private sector and working together with Canadian and international partners can provide a much more strengthened approach to tackling these problems."

More than 70 private sector and civil society leaders participated in a panel discussion, entitled "Global Health and the World of Business: How Canada is Shifting Development Models Through Innovative Partnerships," that addressed the importance of public-private partnerships and innovative financing in accelerating efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality in developing countries.

"New and cutting-edge partnerships are critical to meeting our goal of ensuring that every woman, newborn and child survives and thrives," said Dr. Helen Scott, Director, Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. "The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is a great example of an innovative partnership of more than 70 Canadian organizations that are working together to synergize, amplify and exponentially increase Canada's impact in meeting this goal."

"The nature and scale of the development challenge requires support from a vibrant private sector—both commercial and not-for-profit civil society institutions—that is able to harness private energies, mobilize human and financial resources, establish standards and models, and flexibly and innovatively respond to emerging needs and opportunities," said Khalil Z. Shariff, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC). "Working across the public and private sectors, AKFC is helping to increase access to quality health services for women and children in Africa and Asia, with the support of both individual Canadians and the Government of Canada."

"Canada has seen first-hand how public-private partnerships and innovative financing can save more women's and children's lives," added PS Brown. "I can think of no better example than Canada's support for the GAVI Alliance, which is a world leader in immunization."

"Public-private partnership is the essence of the GAVI Alliance, whose mission is to save children's lives and protect people's health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries," said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance. "The GAVI Alliance model, supported by Canada, is designed as a sustainable approach that puts countries on track to self-sufficiency. If the public and private sectors collectively seize the moment, we can accelerate progress towards a world where every child, everywhere, is fully immunized."

Canada recognizes that immunization is one of the best investments in global health. Ensuring that children in developing countries receive the life-saving vaccines they need is a significant part of Canada's commitment to improving maternal, newborn and child health. Since 2000, the GAVI Alliance, with Canada's support, has helped to immunize 440 million children, saving six million lives.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is committed to working with a wide range of partners, including the private sector, to help improve the lives of people living in poverty, especially women and children.
  • Canada is a founding and leading donor to the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC), administered by the GAVI Alliance. Canada has provided US$200 million (2011–2015) to the AMC. The AMC is an innovative initiative that is bringing together the expertise of the private sector and civil society to deliver speedy and cost-effective life-saving vaccines to children in the poorest countries. Since 2011, more than 10 million children in 30 countries have been immunized against pneumonia, with 500,000 future deaths averted.
  • In May 2014, Canada will be hosting a high-level Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. One of the key issues at the summit will be the importance of broadening partnerships with the private sector and using innovative financing to reduce the deaths of women and children in developing countries.

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Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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