France's support for Muskoka initiative in Guinea, Togo, Mali, DRC

Mother breastfeeding her child
Frank Keillor

The French government has reaffirmed its commitment to the improvement of women and child health and to promote human rights around the world during the G8 meeting in Muskoka (Canada, June 25-26, 2010). In this regard, the president of the French Republic has undertaken the decision to spend 500 million Euros over five years to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 4 and 5) (reducing maternal and child mortality).

Part of these commitments is implemented by multilateral partners of France such as UNWOMEN, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) through three PSF (Priority Solidarity Fund) programs. The three PSF share common goals, a common framework for programming, monitoring and evaluation to ensure optimal synergy. They focus on 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. The initiative is part of the strategy 'Every Woman, Every Child', developed by the UN Secretary General in 2010 and is built in the spirit of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.

Through this French Muskoka initiative, the Alliance supports the development and implementation of HRH strategies to improve the maternal and child health workers situation. The Alliance is working with UNFPA, UNICEF, UNWOMEN and WHO to support the assessment and planning of midwifery practices in four African francophone countries - Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali and Togo. This assessment will eventually be used towards the development of maternal, newborn and child health workforce (MNCHW) strategies to be included in the country HRH plans, facilitated by the County Coordination and Facilitation (CCF) process of the Alliance.