On Sept. 24, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that at least $700 million would be invested by 2015 to help developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals for women and children’s health. The funding will come from the International Development Association, the group’s fund for the poorest countries.
The Millennium Development Goals, established in 2000, lay out a series of missions in helping the world’s poorest. The target date is nearly two years away, and much progress still needs to be made. “This announcement is welcome and more investment is urgently needed. Progress on improving women’s and children’s health is severely off track. Every day about 800 women die due to complications of pregnancy and child birth and 99 per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries,” said Nicolas Mombrial, the head of Oxfam’s Washington office.
In the developing world, child mortality rates are increasing. To combat this problem, help is needed by large international super-organizations like the World Bank. “The World Bank Group is committed to using evidence-based approaches to help ensure that every woman and every child can get the affordable, quality health care necessary to survive and live a healthy, productive life,” said Kim.
In September 2010, the World Bank pledged to provide $600 million for goals four and five – to reduce child mortality and maternal health. They are now calling for further progress on this, which requires a comprehensive approach to strengthening health systems in areas such as water and sanitations, education systems and labor markets.