World Vision on the Muskoka Initiative: Today's G8 announcement means more
children will reach their fifth birthdays

... But tomorrow begins the fight for the millions left behind

TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Canada's contribution is strong, but the G8 as a whole has barely registered in this initiative totaling $5 B, leaving millions of children in the cold with an underfunded Muskoka Initiative for Maternal and Child Health.

"We applaud Prime Minister Harper for his strong leadership putting the world's children and mothers on the G8 agenda and offering new money," said Dave Toycen, CEO of World Vision Canada. "But overall, the Muskoka Initiative looks more like a small down payment than an adequate investment, and won't reach as far as it must to stop needless early deaths."

World Vision says details are still needed to know how much of this funding truly represents new resources or includes money taken away from other programs, shortchanging prior promises. Now is the time to strengthen accountability so pledges are kept and we don't keep seeing a series of new initiatives left to languish.

With the failure of the G8 to respond strongly, we now look to the G20 countries to step up to their responsibility to carry momentum forward and ensure solid progress in saving the lives of millions of women and children before the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline.

Quotes

"We're pleased with Canada's contributions and some fresh G8 pledges, but I'll still be waking up at night haunted by the thought of the millions of children who will remain unable to get the lifesaving basic healthcare they deserve." - Dave Toycen, CEO World Vision Canada

"Millions more children in countries with the highest child mortality rates in Africa are still waiting for international leadership to address their rights and needs." - Sue Mbaya, Advocacy Director, World Vision

Facts

- Last year, 8.8 million children and at least 350,000 women died, most from preventable causes. Malnutrition and lack of access to basic health care underlie many of these deaths.

- Pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria were top killers of children, while women die in pregnancy and childbirth due to lack of food, pre and post-natal care, or emergency help when they need it.

- Annual global health funding of $42.5 billion by 2015, including a doubling to $16 billion a year for maternal and child health, is required to fill funding gaps.

- This money will see millions of children get the vaccinations, healthy food, and access to essential health care close to home, where they need it. It will help also ensure thousands of mothers aren't going through pregnancy and childbirth alone.

    
    LINKS

    -   World Vision public actions around the summit
        www.worldvision.ca/newsroom
    -   About World Vision's child health campaign www.childhealthnow.org
    

World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: For interviews with World Vision experts, contact: Sharon Marshall, cell: 416-616-9147, Sharon_Marshall@WorldVision.ca; Tiffany Baggetta, cell: 416-305-9612, Tiffany_Baggetta@WorldVision.ca


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