CARE to Invest $1.8 Billion to Expand Successful Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programs to More Than 30 Countries by 2015
– CARE Calls on Governments to Increase their Financial Commitments to Meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals –
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Today the humanitarian organization CARE announced that it will invest $1.8 billion to expand its maternal, newborn and child health programs to more than 30 countries in five years. This investment will deepen CARE’s commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015 and will support the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health, which will be unveiled at next week’s MDG Summit.
As a leading organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls, CARE has made reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality one of its top priorities. With more than 50 years of experience and success developing and implementing maternal and child health programs, CARE empowers vulnerable women with services and information while affecting policies to ensure that safe pregnancy and birth are a basic human right.
But of all the MDGs, it is goals four and five – improving the health of women and children – that are most off track. CARE calls on governments to pledge at the MDG Summit new financial commitments to accelerate progress and meet MDGs four and five by 2015.
“Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth each year – and millions more are left with life-altering disabilities. These women aren’t dying because the health community doesn’t know how to prevent their deaths; they are dying because the world is failing to help,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA. “CARE will invest $1.8 billion over the next five years to prevent maternal, newborn and child deaths worldwide. CARE urges world leaders to do more to combat this global epidemic.”
CARE’s programs target the most marginalized populations in countries with the highest health burden. To date, CARE has reached 15 million women and children through its maternal and child health programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. By moving its maternal and child health programs into at least 10 additional countries, and by scaling-up programs in countries where it currently operates, the global humanitarian organization aims to aid more than 30 million women and children by the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline.
Investing in What Works
CARE’s comprehensive strategies include three areas of focus:
- Empowering Girls and Women and Increasing Gender Equity
The core of CARE’s programming focuses on empowerment and gender equity. Evidence has shown that by empowering women, you can increase their use of health and other services; improve their lives, the well-being of their children and the economic stability of their communities; and make governments more accountable to their needs.
- Linking Health Systems and Communities in Systems of Mutual Accountability
Both health system strengthening and community engagement are essential to improving maternal, newborn and child health. CARE strengthens health systems by building the capacity of health workers to provide culturally sensitive, quality care as well as improving community understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Even when measures are taken to improve healthcare facilities and services, poor women still often face additional obstacles such as cost, cultural barriers and lack of understanding of their rights that often prevent them from seeking or utilizing health services. CARE works within the community and through partners to overcome these barriers.
- Using Innovative Approaches to Reach the Most Vulnerable Populations
CARE supports innovative strategies to improve quality of care, data collection and decision-making. CARE’s ongoing data collection on maternal and newborn mortality includes medical and social reviews that can be used to identify ways to improve maternal health outcomes and catalyze action to prevent maternal deaths. CARE invests in mechanisms that strengthen data collection and monitoring to better identify and document successful interventions.
“Effective implementation of the U.N. Secretary General’s initiative will require the combined efforts and targeted outreach of many critical players, including governments, donors and NGOs,” said Dr. Gayle. “Agencies like CARE are a vital part of the solution to improving maternal, newborn and child health, and reaching the MDG goal line.”
CARE’s commitment represents significant contributions by a global coalition of public and private partners, individual and bilateral donors, foundation and corporations, and the breadth and depth of CARE’s experience, infrastructure and capacities on the ground.
For more information about CARE’s commitment to achieving the MDGs, visit www.care.org/mdg.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading international humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. In nearly 70 countries, CARE works with the poorest communities to improve basic health and education, enhance rural livelihoods and food security, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, help vulnerable people adapt to climate change, and provide lifesaving assistance during emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. To learn more, visit www.care.org.