PMNCH action

Contribution of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has been involved in the work of the Taskforce in three main avenues.

1. Representation on the Taskforce

PMNCH provided important contributions to the work of the High-Level Task Force. Two Partnership members were key members of Working Group I, which oversaw the work on estimating the costs and the financing gap: Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Director a.i., PMNCH, and Dr. Helga Fogstad, Coordinator Health and HIV/AIDS, NORAD and Board member, PMNCH.

2. Costing estimates

Two team developed separate costing estimates for WGI and subsequently used as well by WG II. The first team included PMNCH members: UNICEF, World Bank, and UNFPA as well as Mr Henrik Axelson, Health Economist for PMNCH. The other costing estimate was developed by WHO and UNAIDS. The methodology and findings of these two analyses can be found in the reports of WG1.

3. Civil society consultation

Several civil society organizations of PMNCH have contributed to the civil society consultations which have taken place including in London in March 2009, Johannesburg May 2009 and Abuja in May 2009.

Some of the PMNCH members involved in these consultations included for example, ActionAid International, Family Care International, White Ribbon Alliance, and several other organizations based in low- and middle-income countries. There have been a number of civil society consultation events

A number of meetings have been held with the private sector, Government Ministers and MEPs.

Statement from the Consultation of Regional Institutions and Networks on High Level Task Force on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems, Abuja, Nigeria, 26 May 2009

Since the establishment of the High Level Task Force, representatives of Civil Society from across the world have been discussing the financing of essential and equitable health care for all. This statement represents a compilation of the key views and themes developed by civil society groups as well as a brief response to the latest reports of the Task Force’s two Working Groups. The nature of our times lends a special urgency to the work of the Task Force. More than halfway to 2015, all of the health Millennium Development Goals lies drastically behind schedule, and at risk of failure. The various health crises around the world, and particularly in Africa, represent an injustice, and failure of governance and economic policy. The allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars, essentially to bail out the banking sector and primarily to sustain the high‐consumption economies of developed countries, puts into context the relatively modest requirements for universal access to essential health care.

We endorse the recommendations of WG1 which highlight the central role of effective and accountable governments, as well as empowered communities, in strengthening health systems and scaling‐up essential health services. We also endorse the view which casts doubt on the promotion of market‐based reforms. The health financing agenda must be moved forward on the basis of the following principles: progressive finance, optimal pooling of finance, equitable and needs‐based budgeting and expenditure, accountable planning and financial management, and full engagement of civil society. Domestic resource mobilization for health systems requires greater attention than has been given by the Task Force and its Working Groups. This needs further development. We recommend the Task Force, the WHO and other actors to support sustained regional and country‐level consultations on the development and improvement of domestic health financing arrangements.

Civil society groups will be compiling a detailed technical report that will outline the deficiencies and gaps of the current WG reports, and respond to the final recommendations of the Task Force.