Canadian Leadership in MNCH Improves the Lives of Mothers and Children around the World

Parliamentary Secretary Lois Brown hosts round table in Kitchener on how to help vulnerable mothers and children in the developing world

August 18, 2014 - Kitchener, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, co-hosted a round table with stakeholders to discuss Canada's leadership role in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) as well as the concrete actions Canada can take going forward to continue to improve the lives of mothers and their children in the developing world. This meeting held in Kitchener, Ontario, was part of the consultations announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit which took place in Toronto from May 28 to 30, 2014.

PS Brown is holding a series of MNCH consultations and round tables to hear from stakeholders in Ontario, British Colombia and Saskatchewan during the month of August.

“Round tables like this one are important because they rally partners around one common goal, which can only be accomplished by working together,” said PS Brown. “That is why Canada has led the way in efforts to keep mothers and children alive and healthy by gathering support among the G-7 countries, other key donors and private foundations to maximize MNCH results.”

The consultation focused on how to ensure that global commitments deliver tangible results while remaining accountable to those in need as well as to Canadian taxpayers. Canada is committed to scaling up interventions that will have the greatest impact, including in the areas of nutrition, vaccination and newborn health.

“Canada's approach to our work on MNCH focuses on addressing the primary causes of mortality for both women and children,” added Minister Paradis. “The Government of Canada looks forward to working with all stakeholders to further our collective focus on MNCH-related progress and achievements.”

In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the Muskoka Initiative, which put maternal, newborn and child health at the forefront of global development efforts. Thanks to Canadian leadership and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday. Recognizing that there is much more work to be done, Prime Minister Harper hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit in Toronto in 2014. At the summit, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion in support and, through the Toronto Statement, laid the groundwork to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation.

“I am proud of the work Canada is doing through the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health,” said MP Albrecht. “Millions of lives are being saved through better nutrition, immunizations, health worker training, micronutrient supplements and more. Communities in the developing world will be stronger and more prosperous because of Canada’s leadership in saving the lives of mothers and children.”

Quick Facts

  • From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach. At this summit, Canada committed $3.5 billion in support for the period of 2015–2020 and renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.
  • Canada’s contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing three programmatic areas: strengthening of health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.
  • Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially—from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.
  • The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.

Associated Links


Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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