Feature story

Economic crisis challenges UN health Goals

16 June 2009

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The 2009 report of the Global Campaign of the Health MDGs: Leading by Example - Protecting the most vulnerable during the economic crisis.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Foreign Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre launched the 2009 report of the Global Campaign of the Health MDGs, Leading by Example - Protecting the most vulnerable during the economic crisis. The launch coincided with the High-Level Forum on Advancing Global Health in the Face of Crisis which was held on 15 June at United Nations Headquarters, New York.

The report highlights that recent actions from governments, international agencies and civil society have started to show positive impact on the health of mothers and children. This has given hope for accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 —aiming to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015. However, this progress is now threatened by the most severe global economic crisis since the 1930s, especially in low-income countries.

According to the report, more money is needed to accelerate the progress towards the health goals and more specifically to save millions of mothers and their newborn babies.

The Network of Global Leaders, which includes twelve leaders from developing and donor countries, contributed to the report and they urged leaders to take measure to protect the vulnerable, especially women and children, from the economic downturn. "The global economic crisis demonstrates how inter-dependent we have become as a global community. This is the time to honour our commitments and invest in our common future," say the leaders in their signed overview of the report.

The Global Campaign for the Health MDGs was launched by Prime Minister Stoltenberg with other global leaders in New York in September 2007. The aim of the campaign is to increase and sustain the political and financial commitment for the health MDGs, in particular those protecting the most vulnerable, women and children.

The Network of Global Leaders is a group of international leaders that provide political backing and advocacy at the highest possible level for the Global Campaign for the Health MDGs.

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Leading by Example - Protecting the most vulnerable during the economic crisis