Secretary-General, Prime Minister Solberg, Melinda Gates, and other honored guests,
I’m very honored to be here today. The Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health is essential to global progress. Secretary-General, I’m very grateful for your inspired leadership in this area.
Our shared vision is to end all preventable maternal, child and adolescent deaths by 2030 and secure the conditions to ensure every child can thrive. We know what works, but we lack resources. There is an estimated US $33 billion dollar annual shortfall for maternal, child and adolescent health care.
It will take the highest level of political commitment to close this gap. Last year, we took a big step to increase investment on this important agenda through the launch of the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child.
As the host institution for the GFF partnership, the World Bank is very pleased to participate today in the launch of the report titled, The Global Financing Facility: Country-Powered Investments for Every Woman, Every Child. The 31 contributions by heads of state, heads of agencies, and leaders of international organizations, private companies, civil society organizations and partnerships, confirm that there is the highest and broadest level of support for the GFF.
Like all of you, I’m eager to see the GFF move as quickly as possible. I’m pleased that Tanzania now is the first country to disburse funds from the GFF, and four other countries have developed and approved plans that will align with domestic resources and funding from other partners to achieve impact at scale. Today, I’d also like to announce that the GFF has four new members -- Guatemala, Guinea, Myanmar, and Sierra Leone -- to push the number of GFF countries to 16.
The World Bank Group will put its full weight behind the next phase of resource mobilization for GFF, and I’m following up closely to ensure we are making rapid progress in implementation. I also see the GFF as a key opportunity to further scale up key nutrition and other life-saving interventions to give children a better start in life.
The GFF offers a powerful tool to scale up smart and sustainable solutions that will help children thrive and reach their full potential. It draws on the diverse expertise of a broad set of stakeholders and partners, and it is anchored by generous contributions from the governments of Canada, Norway, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I also appreciate the country-level contributions from the United States and Japan. The funding for children, of course, mainly comes from developing countries, and I’d like especially to thank the leadership from the now 16 GFF countries in leading the way to invest in their children.
The GFF’s focus on strengthening primary health care and scaling up crucial health, nutrition and population services for all infants, women, and children means that it will be an important factor in pushing toward universal health coverage.
We are one year into implementation, and there is a sense of excitement in the countries to fully utilize the potential of the GFF. To keep the momentum going, we must do more. I ask all of you -- my fellow partners in development -- to support the GFF. By working together we can ensure that we serve every woman and every child.
Thank you very much.