Speeches & Transcripts

Speech by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at the Event: “Delivering For Every Woman & Every Child Within A Generation.”

September 25, 2014

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim Event: “Delivering For Every Woman & Every Child Within A Generation” at the United Nations General Assembly New York City, United States

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Ray, for your leadership and your unwavering commitment to global health.

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I’m very pleased to be here today with our Every Woman and Every Child partners.

As we scale up the global response to the Ebola epidemic, we must not forget that women and children around the world are dying from preventable causes because they lack access to essential health care. 

When the world adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, the intentions were good – but the financing tools were missing.

Two years later, the world came together in Monterrey to agree on a financing framework for the Millennium Development Goals – but that was largely about how to divide up official development assistance among competing sector priorities.

As we approach the 2015 deadline and look ahead to 2030, we must expand our aspirations.

First, our aims must be clear: Let’s bring an end to preventable maternal and child deaths. Let’s achieve universal health coverage. And let’s end extreme poverty.

Second, our approach to development financing must change. Countries need evolving models of finance as they grow and transition from low- to middle-income economies. 

Third, we must transform the way we do business in global health and development. We can continue to invest in a myriad of health programs that are not very well-coordinated and have limited impact, or we can begin to consolidate and leverage our resources around the most equitable, effective, and efficient initiatives, backed by solid evidence.

Today, we’re taking a major step in this direction. On behalf of our partners, I am pleased to announce that we will be creating a new Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child. 

With the financial support being announced today by the Governments of Canada, Norway, and the United States, we expect to leverage an estimated $3.2 billion from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.  This will bring us to a total of $4 billion in financing that will be available to scale up and sustain essential health services for women, children, and adolescents.

Thank you, Prime Minister Harper, Prime Minister Solberg, and Administrator Shah, for your leadership on this.

This is only the beginning of what we can do together. I invite other countries, foundations, the private sector, civil society, and others partners to contribute. 

The Global Financing Facility will enable countries to close the health MDG achievement gaps, building on our proven experience with results-based financing for health. This is great value for money.

For example, we have new evidence that using results-based financing in Nigeria has more than doubled the rate of access to modern family planning -- which empowers girls and women and saves lives.

The facility will enable countries to scale up multi-sectoral investments linked to better health, such as conditional cash transfers to keep adolescent girls in school and delay pregnancy. Imagine: In some countries, 50% of adolescent girls have given birth.

The facility will invest in better systems of accountability, including Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, with the goal of universal registration of every pregnancy, every birth, and every death by 2030.  This is about making every life count.

And the Global Financing Facility will help countries mobilize additional domestic and international resources, including from domestic budgets, other bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector, and innovative financing mechanisms. This means scarce ODA can be directed toward emerging health challenges and unexpected health emergencies.

So we have the know-how, we have the evidence, and now we have a significant amount of new resources as well as a powerful new financing tool to help all women and children around the world survive and live healthy, productive lives.  Now let’s get to work. 

Thank you very much.