UN High Level Meeting on MDGs: $16 million in new commitments

Governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups have rallied around the call to action to slash poverty, hunger, disease and other socio-economic ills by 2015, by announcing an estimated $16 billion in new commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), at a high-level event at United Nations Headquarters held on Thursday 25 September 2008.

Major commitments—including more than $4.5 billion for education and $3 billion for malaria as well as substantial commitment to work towards training 1 million new health workers—were announced by major donor countries and partners. Developing countries also announced commitments to mobilize domestic programmes aimed at achieving the universally agreed anti-poverty goals by the target date of 2015.

An enhanced focus on the issue of improving maternal and child health came through the High Level Meeting and a number of special events. Within this, the critical importance of increased numbers of health workers to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 was underlined.

Among a number of key commitments made, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom pledged to spend an estimated £450 million over the next three years to support national health plans for 8 International Health Partnership countries, which would include the increased training of health workers. At one high-level event, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway called on to global leaders to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5 through increased investment in quality health services for mothers, newborns, and children and the health systems and workers that support them.