World Vision Responds to G20 Communiqué
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
  • Commends creation of G20 Working Group on Development
  • Concerned development continues to take back seat to heavy focus on economic growth
  • Welcomes reaffirmation of MDG commitments
  • Applauds the cancellation of Haiti's IFI debt

"The success of the G20 can't be measured by only economic indicators, which are meaningless unless human lives are saved and vulnerable families' well-being improved, which in itself will increase global prosperity.

"In the G20 countries alone, 2.5 million children are dying each year before their fifth birthdays. That's equivalent to the entire population of Toronto, and almost 30 percent of the 8.8 million babies and children who die globally, most of preventable causes." - Robert Zachritz, Advocacy Director, World Vision U.S.

"The development and prosperity our leaders are striving for can't be sustained if our children are dying and a third of those who survive can't realize their full potential as a result of childhood malnutrition." - Sue Mbaya, Advocacy Director, World Vision Africa

These countries are now the 21st century's economic powerhouses, with 87 percent of the world's GDP, yet many are still failing to address dire living conditions and lack of access to health services in their communities.

The right to be considered a global leader brings with it the responsibility to address the world's most pressing problems, which of course means a focus on economic development but also major social crises like millions of needless child deaths.

"We are calling for true leadership in ending deaths of children and mothers, both at home and abroad," said Zachritz.

High burdens of disease and illness block economic growth. An estimated US $15.5 billion in potential productivity is lost globally each year when mothers and babies die. For example, across developing countries, malnutrition reduces national GDP by 3 to 6 percent.

By contrast, each dollar invested in global health would create a $3 gain through extended healthy lifespan and faster economic growth.

It is urgent that the G20 make child and maternal health, the furthest off-track of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, the priority of its working group on development.

The new G20 Working Group on Development must:

  • be made permanent to ensure accountability, and elevate the focus on human development alongside economic development;
  • keep each G20 member accountable for rapid progress toward meeting development goals--particularly on child and maternal health and food security;
  • equip G20 nations to provide leadership within their own regions.

For interviews with World Vision experts, contact: Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz, cell: 202.615.2608, Rachel Wolff, cell: 253.394.2214,

Popular in the Community