June 26, 2014
This press release originally appeared on USAID’s website here.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that it is realigning $2.9 billion of the Agency’s resources to save up to half a million children from preventable deaths by the end of 2015—refocusing resources on high-impact programs with proven track records to save the most lives.
USAID also released a transparent action plan that reveals how the Agency, working with the global community, will prioritize results for the most at-risk families in the most vulnerable countries. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced these goals today, along with more than $600 million in new public/private partnerships and awards with 26 partners and representatives from the governments of all 24 priority countries (most at the ministerial level) at the Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths forum in Washington, D.C.
“Every day this year, 17,000 more children will live—and 700 more mothers will survive childbirth—than 20 years ago,” said Shah. “Right now, we are partnering with engines of innovation — corporations, foundations, NGOs, faith-based communities, entrepreneurs and local leaders—to solve one of the greatest development challenges: ending extreme poverty and build thriving, resilient societies. We know that, by working with the global community, we can end preventable child and maternal deaths, which is critical to our own national security, economic prosperity and moral leadership.”
The Acting on the Call forum was co-hosted by the Governments of Ethiopia and India, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners. Honoring the commitments made at the Child Survival: Call to Action in 2012, where countries around the world signed a pledge to end preventable death, global health leaders from governments, faith-based organizations, civil society and the private sector will assess recent efforts aimed at reducing child and maternal deaths and plot a new course that will ensure progress continues.
Since 2009, the United States has invested more than $13 billion in child and maternal survival—a 56 percent increase in annual funding. Now, after a careful review of every dollar spent across 24 countries, USAID is aligning its resources with those of partner countries—creating a double-down effect on targeted efforts to reduce child and maternal deaths.
Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and Malaria, worked for 18 months with Shah and a panel of esteemed business, health and development experts and bipartisan former Congress members to identify opportunities for improved efficiency and effectiveness that will realign $2.9 billion of the Agency’s resources by the end of 2015 to save up to 500,000 children from preventable deaths. The panel also strongly recommended that USAID centralize decision making and restructure procurement processes by establishing a maternal and child health coordinator, following the model of USAID’s own President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The proposed coordinator would be tasked with overseeing USAID’s near- and longer-term goals for impact, as well as working to gain greater contracting and operational efficiency, and have substantially greater budgetary and approval authority. This panel review and recommendations are a part of the longer-term initiative USAID has undertaken over the course of several years—a series reforms that position the Agency to lead the fight to end extreme poverty around the world.
In addition, USAID announced more than $600 million dollars in new partnerships and awards with more than 26 partners, including: