Maternal and child health projects get $82M from Canada

Canada has selected 28 maternal and child health projects to share $82 million in funding between now and 2016, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, meets with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete at his hotel before making a speech on maternal health at the United Nations Tuesday, September 20, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Canada has selected 28 maternal and child health projects to share $82 million in funding between now and 2016, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday.

The money was committed in the G-8 Muskoka Initiative, 15 months ago. It brings the total allocated under the fund to almost $740 million for projects in Africa, the Americas and Asia. 

The government has pledged a total of $2.85 billion between 2010 and 2015, including $1.1 billion announced at last year's G8 summit in Muskoka.

The government announced last May more than $200 million in funding for UN agencies working in Africa and Afghanistan, but Canadian aid agencies have been waiting since a November 2010 call for proposals to find out which of their projects will get government funding.

The newly announced projects include:

  • $19.4 million for Plan Canada in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Zimbabwe.
  • $8.4 million for Aga Khan Foundation Canada in Mali, Mozambique and Pakistan.
  • $6 million for the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Laos, Nepal and Zambia.
  • $5 million for Save the Children Canada in Mali and Pakistan.
  • $3.8 million for CARE Canada in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
  • $3.7 million for CHF (formerly Canadian Hunger Foundation) in South Sudan.
  • $3.1 million for World Vision Canada in Tanzania.
  • $2.7 million for Canadian Red Cross in Mali.
  • $2 million for Christian Children’s Fund of Canada in Ethiopia.
  • $2 million for Adventist Development and Relief Agency Canada project in Cambodia.
  • $2.1 million for World University Service of Canada in Burkina Faso.

Several universities are getting funding for projects too, including $3.5 million for the University of Calgary to work in Uganda, $2.8 million for the University of British Columbia in Bangladesh, $1.8 million for University of Western Ontario in Rwanda, $1.7 million for the University of Manitoba in Kenya and $1.3 million for Queen's University in Bangladesh.

Speaking at Every Woman, Every Child, an event hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Harper said he wanted to focus on practical goals like training health workers and vaccinations, which can be tracked.

Harper spoke of his work with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete in making sure donors meet their pledge targets and recipients spend the resources in the most effective way. He said there will be a report produced for G8 leaders to track their commitments and the results.

"So obviously this puts a lot of pressure on those who make commitments to make sure they follow through on those commitments," he said. "If it matters, measure it. Well, this matters.

"As we press for accountability, always remember that mothers, children and newborns ... are counting on us."

Harper also met with world leaders in the Friends of Libya group Tuesday morning.

Next week, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will address the UN General Assembly the evening of Sept. 26.