In June 2012, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) joined hands with the Governments of India and Ethiopia, and many other development and private sector partners, with the ambition of ending preventable child and maternal deaths by the year 2035, and forging a Grand Convergence in life expectancy between rich and poor nations. Later that year, the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) rolled out a blueprint to achieve an AIDS-Free Generation. In 2013, the World Bank Group set an equally ambitious goal of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity by 2030. This Spring, the World Bank President was joined by the UN Secretary-General to take on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), recognizing its centrality to ending extreme poverty.
Despite best efforts and tremendous progress, malaria continues to infect an estimated 216 million people around the world each year, killing more than 650,000.en under the age of five. In the time it takes you to read this article, roughly three more children will lose their lives to this preventable and treatable disease.
These are precious lives lost for lack of a $1 course of antimalarial treatment or a $7 long-lasting insecticide-treated net.
Malaria disrupts communities and wrecks lives.
It keeps children out of school and parents out of work.
It costs governments and societies billions of dollars in healthcare costs and lost productivity. In Africa alone, malaria costs an estimated minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity each year.
There are many who believe economic growth to be the sole antidote for the rampant spread of deadly and destructive diseases throughout Africa. I, however, believe this to be a grave misconception. While the symbiotic relationship between a strong economy and a healthy population cannot be denied, the diseases currently plaguing Africa know nothing of our nation’s border. Why then, should our treatments and preventative measures stop there?
In the recent past, much of the world's poverty was concentrated in low-income countries (LIC). However, as incomes around the world have increased, the distribution of poverty has shifted. In 1990, over 90 percent of the world's poor lived in LIC. A recent paper by Andy Sumner finds that as much as 70 percent of the world's poor now live in middle-income countries (MIC), a "new bottom billion". Over the last 15 years, many countries have moved up the income distribution to middle-income status, including China in 1999, Indonesia in 2003, and India in 2007. As more and more countries graduate from low-income status, they bring with them much of the world's poor, and often leave behind the attention of international donors.
There is no better investment than making sure that half of the world's population–girls and women- are empowered to contribute to building healthy and stable countries.
The facts are undeniable. Women are the mainstay of production in the developing world. They grow and harvest the rice in Asia and grow and deliver the produce in Africa. Women care for their children and devote more of their income than men to food, medicine, and other family needs. Women's unpaid work—farming, managing their homes, caring for children, and other tasks—equals about one third of the world's GNP.
The tremendous resources that flowed into global health starting around 2000, with the launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; followed by President George W. Bush's PEPFAR and President's Malaria Initiative programs; coming on top of the substantial investments being made in global health by actors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; meant implementing organizations like PSI and many others were able to help save or improve the lives of millions in the developing world.
Globally, more than 215 Million women lack access to modern forms of reproductive health commodities. Now with less than 4 years remaining until the target for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), funding for international family planning has taken a serious hit due to a reduction in global giving. Even with the understanding that modern forms of contraceptives have helped a number of countries empower women to plan the timing and size of their families to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, maternal and infant deaths, funding cuts are posing a great challenge to achieving MDG 5 goals.
Innovative Financing During Economic Downturn. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent the 'biggest promise' ever made to the world's most vulnerable people. The years 2002-2008 saw incredible global economic growth and the scaling up of health programs across the developing world, resulting in a dramatically improved health situation for the poorest populations.