Health partnerships reach out to G8 leaders

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12 MARCH 2012 | GENEVA - The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health has joined with three other leading global health partnerships – the GAVI Alliance, The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- to send an open letter to G8 leaders to ask for the inclusion of a specific statement of commitment and support for global health in the 2012 G8 Summit Declaration and accountability report.

This letter joins ongoing efforts by major civil society networks, such as the Global G8/G20 Working Group, in positioning policy statements on maternal, newborn and child heatlh (MNCH) and accountability with G8 and G20 leaders, urging full implementation and accountability of pledges made at previous G-8 meetings, including the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health led by Canada in 2010 and the L’Aquila food security initiative launched at the G8 meeting in Italy in 2009. Related to health, food security is among the priorities for both summits, linking to nutrition, agriculture and economic development.

Over the past four years, PMNCH has facilitated a multi-stakeholder discussion group to define and communicate joint requests relating to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health financing and policy. Representatives of this group are also active in the Global G8/G20 Working Group. The 2012 G8 will be held at Camp David, USA, on 18-19 May. The G20 will be held in Los Cabos Mexico, 18-19 June.

Full text of the Open Letter to 2012 G8 Leaders

“We recognize the impact of investing in global health partnerships to save lives, improve health and provide long-term economic benefits to people in the poorest countries. Public-private partnership models supported by our governments have accelerated progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. We pledge ourselves to meet the commitments made to all global health initiatives and urge new and existing donors from the public and the private sectors to provide additional resources.

"We recognize the impact of GAVI Alliance support to developing countries, which has already helped to immunize over 320 million children and is accelerating access to vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable children and women. We welcome the success of the GAVI Alliance’s pledging conference last June in London and of the Advance Market Commitment mechanism for pneumococcal vaccine, which has ensured the early availability of affordable, life-saving vaccines to those most in need.

"We applaud the major successes of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in its first decade in preventing deaths and improving the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria around the world. We welcome the rapid implementation of reforms undertaken by the Global Fund to significantly increase its operational effectiveness and efficiency.

"We reaffirm our support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and applaud India’s success in stopping polio this year. We agree that completing polio eradication is an emergency for global public health, and call for global accountability and urgent mobilization of political and financial support to close the financing gap for 2012-2013 and ensure the full implementation of the Polio Emergency Action Plan, thereby protecting more than 400 million children in Africa and Asia from this vaccine-preventable disease.

"We acknowledge the need for continuing efforts to improve the health of women and children, especially in least developed countries. Through the continued implementation of our Muskoka Initiative, we stand behind our commitment to Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, and urge greater accountability and action through the full implementation of recommendations by the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health in support of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, launched by the UN Secretary General in 2010. This includes addressing key needs, such as more support for family planning, as well greater food security and better nutrition for pregnant women and children.