G8 leaders taking baby steps in the right direction

TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - As the G8 2010 comes to a close, World Vision believes the summit will be rightly hailed for the launch of the Canadian-led Muskoka Initiative, but tainted by low promises and expectations.

"Prime Minister Harper and the other G8 leaders have recognised the importance of child and maternal health, particularly the lack of progress that's being made, and they've promised to do more to reduce the number of children and mothers who die every year," says Dave Toycen, CEO of World Vision Canada.

"We believe child health is the greatest silent emergency of our time, so we're pleased to see the G8 leaders have taken it seriously this year. But for the 24,000 children under the age of five who are dying today, the sense of urgency is missing.

"The leaders have taken some important steps in the right direction of accountability by increasing their commitment to transparency. They are going to annually publish their aid figures and the results that those dollars are achieving, making it easier for voters and civil society to hold them to account."

But the emphasis and dialogue must now translate into action, says Sue Mbaya, Director of Advocacy, World Vision Africa.

"Looking forward, success is not in communiqués or meetings. It's in the delivery, of strong health services, of more health workers, of immunisation programmes and of healthy meals for children.

"This G8 has promised to save 1.3 million children. We will work to ensure this happens - and will continue to push them to address the remaining millions still at risk."

    - World Vision public actions around the summit
    - 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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