UK gives £50m to stop childbirth deaths in developing countries

8 Nov 18

The UK is giving £50m to help stop mothers and babies dying in childbirth in developing countries.

The money will go to the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility, which is working to close the funding gap for health services for mothers and babies in developing nations. 

More than five million mothers and children die from preventable causes related to pregnancy, such as blood loss and infection, or low birth weight due to malnutrition.

Penny Mordaunt, the secretary of international development, said on Tuesday: “Empowering women and girls and investing in health services not only saves lives but also helps the most marginalised people to realise their full potential.

“UK aid is supporting the Global Financing Facility to make a bigger impact in this area, bringing together governments and the private sector to fill the gaps in healthcare around the world.”

The money will support investment in medicines, equipment and life-saving resources. It will be made available to pregnant women, babies and children in 27 countries across Africa and Asia until 2023.

The announcement was made at the Global Financing Facility Replenishment event in Oslo on Tuesday, hosted by the president of Burkina Faso, prime minister of Norway and Melinda Gates, philanthropist and founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The GFF will also improve women’s access to healthcare in remove areas and work with governments to improve nutrition, access to contraception and empowering girls and women to choose whether they want children.

The UK support comes on top of a £30m investment in the GFF made in London last year.

The announcement comes after an aid watchdog claimed last month that the Department for International Development could have exaggerated the number of women’s lives saved through its maternal health and family planning programmes.

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