It is that time of year again, commonly known as "UNGA" to the many policy, technical and advocacy experts buzzing around the United Nations in New York. As we look forward and position issues for the post-2015 development agenda, it is important to reflect on what is possible if we accelerate action, target resources and embrace accountability in the remaining time of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For women's and children's health the vision is to end preventable maternal and child deaths in a generation. This goal is within reach, but more needs to be done as we approach 2015 for a sustainable future.
For instance, we can save 158,000 women and 2.3 million children in the remaining time of the MDGs. If the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health (Global Strategy) is fully resourced, here are some fast facts on what can be accomplished in 2015.
- 43 million new users would have access to family planning
- 19 million more women would give birth supported by a skilled birth attendant
- 2.2 million additional neonatal infections would be treated
- 21.9 million more infants would be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life
- 15.2 million more children under the age of one would be fully immunized
- 117 million more children under the age of five would receive vitamin A supplements
- 40 million more children would be protected from pneumonia.
These results would be life-changing for so many women and children around the globe. So how do we get there? The fourth annual accountability report, coordinated by PMNCH, analyzes commitments to the Global Strategy and their implementation. The number of commitment-makers has tripled since 2010 and more than 60 percent of committed funds have been disbursed as of May 2014. Together, these pledges underpin the Every Woman Every Child movement, which has proven to be a dynamic and innovative multi-stakeholder partnership that is delivering results.
If all the pledges are realized, meaning commit makers keep their promises, historical progress can happen. As we attend events this week, it is incumbent upon all of us to ask commit makers about the status of their pledges. New announcements are important but we should also reflect on progress. If you want to give a shout-out to a commit maker showcasing results or promoting accountability, share the information through social media using #Commit2Deliver.
Implementing commitments will lay a strong foundation for ensuring women and children remain at the center of the post-2015 agenda. As recommended by the UN's independent Expert Review Group (iERG) on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health, we must also use the next year to secure wide political support for "a new, broader, and more inclusive Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health." The report identifies a need to create a results-based financing facility to support and sustain this new Global Strategy, which we will hear more about this week.
The Every Woman Every Child movement is the pathfinder for the next development agenda. The time is now to #Commit2Deliver for women and children around the globe.