Canada Helping to Save the Lives of Women and Children in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Canadian Fund for Civil Registration for Latin America and the Caribbean will help accelerate the collection of vital statistics and the allocation of health services

May 25, 2014 - Pickering, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced the Canadian Fund for Civil Registration for Latin America and the Caribbean, a project that will accelerate progress on maternal, newborn and child health in the developing world. The announcement was made on behalf of Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, at the Family Worship Centre in Pickering Ontario. Minister Alexander also used the opportunity to highlight Canada’s global leadership role in promoting the health of women and children in developing countries and in reducing the unacceptable mortality rates these vulnerable people face each year.

Through the Canadian Fund for Civil Registration for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) registries will be strengthened. Improved data collection and statistical support will improve the ability of countries to plan and deliver life-saving maternal, newborn and child health services.

“The project announced today will help strengthen civil registrations and the collection of vital statistics, to improve the planning, allocation and delivery of maternal, newborn and child health related services, in Latin America and Caribbean countries,” said Minister Alexander. “Canada’s focus on maternal and child health reflects the values of millions of Canadians who believe that we cannot stand idly by while the poorest and most vulnerable suffer deaths that are easily and inexpensively prevented. By working together, eliminating preventable deaths among women, children and newborns is within arm’s reach.”

The Prime Minister is once again taking action to mobilize global efforts to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world’s poorest countries. This week, from May 28-30, 2014, he will host Saving Every Women, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach, an international summit to be held in Toronto that will shape the future of global action on maternal and child health issues. At the summit, Minister Alexander will host a panel discussion featuring several leading experts on CVRS, aimed at building on momentum for global efforts to support building CRVS systems in developing countries.

“Due in large part to Canada’s leadership, global attention and resources have been drawn to maternal, newborn and child health issues,” said Minister Paradis. "Global action, kick-started by the launch of the Canada-led Muskoka Initiative, has saved countless lives and improved the health of millions of mothers, newborns and children in the developing world. Canada’s focus on maternal and child health as witnessed today with this announcement reflects the values of millions of Canadians who believe that we cannot stand idle while the poorest and most vulnerable suffer deaths that are easily and inexpensively prevented.”

Quick Facts

  • On April 28, 2014, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will host Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach, an international Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health issues.
  • The Summit, to be held from May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, will build on Canada’s leadership and bring together Canadian and international leaders and experts, Canadian charities, businesses, scientists, developed and developing countries, international organizations and global foundations to ensure that maternal, newborn and child health remains a priority of the global development agenda.
  • Every year, in Latin America and the Caribbean, an estimated 1.3 million births are not registered, and in many countries, children without birth certificates do not advance past primary school, and they typically receive two or three fewer vaccinations than other children.
  • This project is aligned with Canada's strategy of engagement in the Americas, which has been a foreign policy priority since 2007. Canada's vision is that of a more prosperous, secure, and democratic hemisphere.
  • The causes of maternal and under-five child mortality in developing countries are largely preventable with increased access to affordable and cost-effective solutions that most Canadians take for granted.
  • Canada is providing $2.85 billion in funding between 2010 and 2015 under the Muskoka Initiative to save the lives of women and children in developing countries.
  • Canada is on track to meeting its Muskoka commitment, with 80 percent of the funding already disbursed.

Related Products

Associated Links

Contacts

Sandrine Perion
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 
819-953-9528
sandrine.perion@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_Dev
Like us on Facebook: Canada is Dedicated to International Development - DFATD