2009 Report on the Global Campaign on Health MDGs

Leading by example: Protecting the most vulnerable during the economic crisis

Publisher: Office of Prime Minister of Norway
Publication date: 2009
Language: English



This year, 2009, will be a key one for the world’s poorest. The global economic crisis has already driven more than 50 million into extreme poverty, particularly women and children, so the need for action is urgent. From previous crises we know that set-backs for the poorest take a long time to put right. The recent actions of governments, international agencies and civil society have begun to prioritise the health of mothers and children. This has given hope for accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5 (aiming to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by threequarters by 2015), the most neglected and impeded of the MDGs. However, this progress is now threatened by the most severe global economic crisis since the 1930s, especially in low-income countries.

Social protection is immediately threatened when an economic crisis strikes. Mothers, infants and children are among the most vulnerable, so we and others are taking action to protect them – building on lessons from previous economic crises in our own countries and elsewhere. This period of economic crisis would be precisely the wrong time to step away from our commitments to meet the basic needs of the world’s poorest people. These are times for increased commitment and actions, and for leadership through example.

The Network of Global Leaders includes 12 leaders from developing and donor countries. We are committed to provide political backing and advocacy at the highest possible level for the Global Campaign for the Health MDGs, and to increase our efforts to save women and children’s lives and reach the MDGs 4 & 5. Our action includes:

  • Honouring our commitments
  • Prioritising social protection for the vulnerable
  • More effective collaborative action
  • Doing more for our common future
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