New Delhi: A massive $32.1 billion of funding to help women, newborns, children, and adolescents has been pledged to restore essential health, nutrition and social services for women, newborns, children and adolescents lost because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pledges are highlighted as part of an expanding campaign coordinated by The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), based on a global Call to Action to protect women, children and adolescents in the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
“Three decades of massive improvement in health and social services for this group is severely threatened,” said Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Chair of PMNCH, a global alliance of 1,200 partner organisations, hosted at the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Women, newborns, children and adolescents have experienced disruptions of almost 40 per cent of key health services since the pandemic, according to the WHO.
Of the $32.1 billion total pledged to date, almost 60 per cent or $18.9 billion in domestic funding is being committed by low and middle-income countries in response to PMNCH’s Call to Action, including Burkina Faso, India, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.
The remaining $13.2 billion is from official development assistance committed as grants from high income countries and a private foundation, announced in December 2020.
“The majority of the pledges are domestic funding coming from middle and low-income countries themselves, with almost $17 billion from African nations,” Clark said. “These nations are acting and not waiting for donations from others to help women, children and adolescents in their countries.”
Of this $32.1 billion, $15.2 billion (47 per cent) is money to address Covid-19. The other half is directed to protecting existing sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health budgets, and protecting women, children, and adolescents from violence.
“These funds will support women, children and adolescents in getting health services and priority social protections throughout the COVID-19 crisis and recovery periods,” said Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and a leader in the PMNCH network.