Stoltenberg Launches Global Health Campaign for Poor Countries

9/15/2008 // "A new offensive to meet the health millennium goals" is how Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg describes the International Health Partnership launched today in London together with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, several health ministers from Asian and African countries and eight health agencies. They joined together to sign the International Health Partnership. Under the initiative, the partners will work to save millions of lives by building better health systems in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The International Health Partnership is part of a new global campaign to meet the health millennium goals – cutting child deaths, reducing maternal mortality and fighting major diseases.

“Every third second a child under five dies of causes which are preventable and every minute a woman dies in childbirth. As a father, economist and politician, I see this situation as morally unacceptable and a great constraint on development for poor countries. Only by strengthening the health care system in the poor countries, will we be able create a step change in the work to achieve the health millennium goals,” says Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

The International Health Partnership aims to make health aid work better for poor countries and accelerate progress by doing three things:

  • Pproviding better coordination among donors
  • Focusing on improving health systems as a whole and not just on individual diseases or issues
  • Developing and supporting countries own health plans

The World Health Organisation, World Bank, UNAIDS, UNFPA, the GAVI alliance, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation and donor governments such as Norway, the UK, Germany and France today committed to work smarter together to reduce the burden placed upon poor country governments by many donors and donor agencies and better support the health needs identified by poor countries themselves. Together the partners making up the International Health Partnership represent half of the world’s aid spending on health.

The health ministers of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Cambodia and Nepal joined the partnership today. These countries have agreed that they would benefit from closer donor and international partner coordination as they work to improve their health services. They have committed to increase public funding for health care and to ensure that the poorest people have access to health care and protecting them against excessive health expenditure. 

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