G20 Must Adopt Child and Maternal Health as Priority

G20 Must Adopt Child and Maternal Health as Priority
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World Vision to newly influential nations:"You can't be called a global leader if your own mothers and children are dying from preventable causes."

G8 support alone not enough to reach development targets, aid group warns

With the G20 summit opening today in Toronto, World Vision is calling upon emerging economies within the G20 to be accountable for prioritizing their own child and maternal health progress--and for all G20 nations to provide their fair share of funding and leadership within their respective regions.

G20 nations took mutual responsibility during the global economic crisis; now these nations must take mutual responsibility to make up for the serious lag in reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 on child and maternal health, the Christian humanitarian organization said.

"Financial market reform means nothing to the children dying of preventable causes. From now on, President Obama must press his G20 colleagues not only on the global economy, but on global poverty," said Robert Zachritz, Director of Advocacy for World Vision's U.S. office.

"In many G20 nations where World Vision works, we see power and wealth right next door to extreme poverty. Let's tackle that inequity. The G20 must address the needs of the most vulnerable children and families in their own countries," Zachritz continued.

World Vision's Sue Mbaya, who travelled to Toronto from South Africa, was clear on what the aid group expected of the newly influential G20 leaders: "You can't be called a global leader if your own mothers and children are dying from preventable causes. These goals are achievable, just look at recent progress. When there is political will, change can happen. "

Facts on G20 health gaps:
  • South Africa: The infant mortality rate (0-1 year) has worsened from 145 in 1990 to 187 in 2008 per 1,000 live births.
  • India: Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel has risen from 34% in 1995 to 47% in 2008, showing progress but highlighting still significant maternal health gaps.
  • Brazil: Has improved overall in child mortality levels, but rates for specific groups including Afro-Brazilian, indigenous, and low-income populations have stagnated or risen, indicating that child mortality is directly related to social inequality.

World Vision's G8/G20 newsroom: www.worldvision.org/press

Rachel Wolff 253.394.2214
Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz 202.615.2608

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.

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