New poll finds Canadians want child and maternal health to remain a top international development priority

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - As Prime Minister Harper and other world leaders gather this week at the United Nations General Assembly, a new poll shows Canadians care deeply about Canada's efforts to save the lives children and mothers in developing countries who are dying of preventable causes. According to the survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of World Vision Canada:

  • 82% of Canadians feel Canada's work to improve child and maternal health in developing countries is "personally important" to them.
  • 91% of Canadians think that children dying before the age of 5 anywhere in the world is unacceptable.
  • 84% of Canadians want Canada to be known as a global leader in finding solutions to poverty and protecting the world's children.
  • 88% of Canadians believe children who live in conflict zones or on the margins of society should be front and centre in aid efforts, even if they are harder to reach.

This insight into Canadian attitudes comes at a critical moment as UNGA delegates focus this week on a new framework to reduce poverty beyond the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to World Vision, the MDGs have brought better health and living standards in many countries, however millions of people – particularly vulnerable children – remain unreached and ignored on the margins of society. These families struggle to survive due to their identity (orphans, ethnic minorities, disabled, refugees), or because they may live in remote communities, conflict zones, or urban slums. 

QUOTES from Dave Toycen, President & CEO, World Vision Canada
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"Since 2010 Canada has been a consistent champion of child and maternal health, helping to drive down global mortality rates. Yet, progress has been uneven, especially for vulnerable children still struggling to survive on the margins of society. Moving forward we must prioritize development in places where life is the hardest, such as conflict zones, crowded slums, and remote communities."

"The poll results confirm that Canadians want to remain a global leader on child and maternal health.  It's not just a role to play on the international stage, it's a responsibility to children whose lives hang in the balance. The UNGA is a key moment for Prime Minister Harper to encourage other governments to step up with pledges and commitments."

"As this UNGA examines a new blueprint for poverty reduction, Canadian delegates can enter discussions confident that Canadians support the spending of funds on health initiatives in countries where the need is greatest, even if it may be more difficult to reach people and get results."

"We know what's needed: simple, yet high-impact solutions like vitamins, immunizations, iron supplements, breastfeeding and clean water. Birth certificates are also important, because unless children are registered at birth, they are invisible to their national health systems and their well-being is jeopardized."


  • Each year, 6.3 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday, most from preventable causes such as malaria, pneumonia and birth complications. That's 17,000 deaths every day.
  • 230 million children are uncounted and invisible, living and dying without being registered in national health systems.
  • World Vision is on the frontlines of this tragedy, working in communities in 100 countries.
  • In 2010 World Vision pledged $1.5 billion for child and maternal health by 2015, and is set to exceed this target and spend $2 billion by 2015. Click here for more information

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The Ipsos Reid survey was conducted on behalf of World Vision Canada between September 11th to 15th, 2014.  The results are based on a sample of n=1,016 Canadian adults in the general population and are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

World Vision is a 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. Visit our News Centre at

SOURCE: World Vision Canada

For further information: Dave Toycen is attending the UNGA and will be available for interviews. Please contact: Britt Hamilton, Mobile: 416-419-1321,; Bob Neufeld, Mobile: 647-622-2045,


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