Building on the success of the High Level Task Force for Innovative Financing for Health, and with only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially launched a global effort for women’s and children’s health in New York on April 2010. The UK as a key partner of the UN offered, with others to assist the UNSG to mobilise the world behind this effort.
In her role at DFID, Oshun’s Executive Director, Sarah Beeching was responsible for developing the UK’s political outreach strategy, and working in close coordination with the UNSG’s Office.
The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, was launched on 22 September 2010 in New York at the ‘Every Woman, Every Child’ special event during the MDG Summit and spelt out what needs to be done to accelerate progress. It called for a bold, coordinated effort, building on what has been achieved so far – locally, nationally, regionally and globally. It calls for all partners to unite and take action – through enhanced financing, strengthened policy and improved service delivery.
Recognising that no single constituency could deliver the health MDGs alone the strategy required a wide range of organisations and individuals to work collectively: governments and policymakers, donor countries and philanthropic institutions, the United Nations and other multilateral organisations, civil society, the business community, health workers and their professional associations, and academic and research institutions.
The international community committed some $40 billion of support at the UN Secretary-General’s high-level event. This will contribute directly to saving 16 million lives by 2015, preventing 33 million unwanted pregnancies, protecting 120 million of children from pneumonia and 88 million children from stunting, advancing the control of deadly diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and ensuring access for women and children to quality facilities and skilled health workers.