Call for intensified efforts to promote global health

‘Five million mothers and children throughout the world die every year from preventable causes. Norway established the Global Financing Facility with other donors to provide health services for women, children and adolescents in developing countries, and thus save lives. If we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must be willing to intensify our global health efforts. The replenishment conference that is to be held in Oslo in November will be an important step in the right direction,’ said Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup.

The Global Financing Facility in Support of Every Woman Every Child (GFF) was established in 2015, with Norway as its largest donor. Together with Burkina Faso, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway will co-host the first replenishment conference since the GFF was launched. The conference will take place in Oslo on 5­-6 November 2018.

‘The objective of the conference in Oslo is to mobilise funding to save the lives of millions of women, children and adolescents in 50 countries. GFF investments in nutrition and basic health services, particularly for children, adolescents and pregnant women, trigger national investments, create ownership and are an important step towards universal health care in the recipient countries,’ said Mr Astrup.

Among the aims of the Sustainable Development Agenda is to end preventable maternal and child mortality by 2030. Achieving this will require substantial investment in developing countries over the next 12 years. Much of this will have to be provided by the countries themselves, but aid will also be needed. Norway considers the Global Financing Facility to be an effective channel for efforts to improve the health of mothers, children and adolescents, and prevent the loss of life.

‘The Global Financing Facility is one example of new financing methods that can mobilise national and international capital for development. In cooperation with our partners, we will ensure that millions of women, children and young people gain access to basic health services. Put simply, this is a question of saving lives and investing in a better future for developing countries,’ Mr Astrup said.

The Global Financing Facility is a catalyst for mobilising funding for the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General. Support from the GFF is coordinated with loans from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), with the aim of increasing domestic funding. The GFF is also a platform for cooperation between government authorities, civil society organisations, the private sector and multilateral funds and organisations. Norway is currently the largest of seven donors to the GFF, and provides NOK 600 million a year.