Investing_in_WomenThis past month a division of the United Nations held a meeting in Kenya in support of women and children. It was a gathering of the U.N.’s Global Financing Facility (GFF) to provide funds for the Every Woman Every Child initiative.

The Every Woman Every Child program was created by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to address the issue of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) in the developing world. By investing in women and children, it aims to reduce the number of maternal deaths from childbirth and also the number of children that die from lack of medical attention.

The funds from the GFF came at a perfect time, as Kenya is trying to address these issues at home. The health of women and children are of particular importance to Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who was in attendance.

The First Lady addressed the Every Woman Every Child meeting to stress its importance for Kenya’s health and economy. “Investing in women and children is a smart foundation for sustainable development,” said Kenyatta. Improving the RMNCAH of nation helps lay a foundation for economic growth and development.

The funding for the Every Women Every Child program comes primarily from the GFF. The U.N. uses the GFF as its main financing platform for the program and uses a breakthrough financing model that unites nations, international donors, and the private sector. All of these parties contribute to help support advancements in the health of women and children.Investing_in_Women

The GFF was announced in September 2014 after exhaustive meetings with national governments and major institutions like the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UNICEF. Its mission is to close the $33 Billion financing gap between rich and poor nations for women and children’s health by 2030. This organization is unconventional in the sense that these multiple parties unite to invest in a nation’s domestic resources and its health infrastructure, rather than just giving aid.

This investment aid is essential for developing nations because it allows them to grow and sustain their infrastructures. The GFF pride themselves on smart financing that is based on evidence from the WHO to achieve results and sustainability. This developmental aid allows the healthcare infrastructure to become successful and grow larger which provides access to more people. It also ensures that the infrastructure grows at the same rate as the economy.

The GFF was primarily created to ensure the success of the U.N.’s Every Woman Every Child program. The UN believes this initiative can improve the lives of millions by investing in women and children.

It also believes it will determine whether its Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals will succeed. First Lady Kenyatta echoed these sentiments when she said that the SDGs will only be achieved with the proper support from leaders.

She also noted that the health of women and children is important to almost every aspect of human development and progress, and it is the cornerstone of public health. Healthy women and children create a strong base for a healthy nation. This healthy nation can then focus on improving the economy which in turn stabilizes the politics and creates social harmony. The basis of a developed nation is the good health of its women and children.

With an initial budget of $40 Billion, the UN hopes the Every Woman Every Child program will help reduce poverty and improve the lives of millions.

Andrew Wildes

Sources: Every Woman Every Child, Global Financing Facility, KBC, World Bank 1, World Bank 2
Photo: UN Multimedia, Flickr