Canada’s Support for UNICEF’s Humanitarian Operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Today’s announcement of $3 million to support UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is addressing the humanitarian needs of vulnerable children and their families as a result of ongoing conflict and insecurity.

Canada’s contribution is helping UNICEF to meet the basic humanitarian needs of people affected by conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This funding is helping save the lives of vulnerable women and children through improved access to:

  • basic services, such as primary health care and water and sanitation;
  • treatment for acute malnutrition;
  • vaccination against diseases; and,
  • protection for children formerly associated with armed forces or groups and survivors of sexual violence.

Maternal, newborn and Child health consultations

At the May 2014 Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit in Toronto, Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed to consulting Canadians as well as key civil society, academic and private sector organizations over the summer. These discussions will build on the immense success of the Summit and ensure Canadians’ wealth of expertise continues to shape Canada’s top development priority.

Consultations will also inform programming decisions surrounding Canada’s $3.5-billion commitment to maternal, newborn and child health through 2015–2020. The focus of today’s consultation with local interfaith leaders and non-governmental organization officials was on ensuring that global commitments deliver real results to those in need while remaining accountable to Canadian taxpayers.  

Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, which provided renewed momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015. The Summit took place from May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario.

Over the course of the Summit, leaders and experts worked together to advance three priority themes:

Getting Results for Women and Children: Summit participants highlighted the benefits of coordinated action and the successes achieved since 2010. Leaders and experts also pointed to the importance of providing increased support for nutrition through key partners such as the Micronutrient Initiative, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF. In addition, Summit participants welcomed the announcement that Germany would host the GAVI replenishment meeting in 2015 and called on all partners to increase their support to the GAVI Alliance.

Doing More Together Globally:Summit participants also called for increased efforts to work together. They also called for more timely, reliable, accurate and accessible health information as a critical catalyst for greater accountability within national health systems. In addition, they agreed that a wider spectrum of expertise and resources is needed, including from the private sector, foundations, science and tech communities, non-governmental organizations and civil society, in addition to traditional partners, local governments, and citizens.

Taking Real Action on Women’s and Children’s Health: Summit participants called on all partners to maintain progress and increase momentum on efforts to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4 (to reduce child mortality) and 5 (to improve maternal health) by the end of 2015. Summit discussions also made clear that ending preventable deaths of women and children within a generation will mean carrying forward the lessons learned, including the need for political leadership, sustained financial commitments, robust accountability measures, and a renewed focus on the approaches that are proven to save the lives of women and children.

Participants welcomedCanada’s renewed commitment of $3.5 billion towards MNCH through 2015–2020 and called on other global donors to meet their commitments to women and children, leading up to and beyond 2015.Summitdiscussions also emphasized the need for common goals and for governments, international organizations, civil society, businesses and health leaders to ensure that ending preventable maternal, newborn and under-five child mortality by 2030 is a central priority within the post-2015 development agenda.