This week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the Third International Financing for Development Conference, the United Nations, along with the World Bank Group, and the governments of Canada, Norway and the United States, joined country and global health leaders to launch the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child. Partners announced that $12 billion in domestic and international, private and public funding had already been aligned to country-led five-year investment plans for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the four GFF front-runner countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally launched the GFF. “This is a key financing platform of the updated Global Strategy,” he said at the event. “The Global Financing Facility represents a new model for aligning development partners with country priorities and leveraging innovative sources of financing from different sectors. It is a potential pathfinder for broader post-2015 financing.”
In his remarks, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim emphasized that “the GFF can be a catalyst to secure universal access to essential, quality health services for all women and children, no matter where they live.”
The Secretary-General and President Kim were joined in the opening panel by Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia; and Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who said that the world needed mechanisms like the GFF that can change the lives of women and children.
At the event, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Japan, and the United States announced new financing commitments totaling $214 million. Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy, Advocacy and Country Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said that the GFF “will be a transformative vehicle to deliver health results.” USAID Acting Administrator Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt added that the GFF “has the potential to change the way the development community does business.”
These new commitments are in addition to commitments previously made by Norway ($600 million) and Canada ($200 million) to the World Bank Group-managed GFF Trust Fund. During the launch in Addis Ababa, Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie of Canada, also announced the establishment of a global Center of Excellence for strengthening civil registration and vital statistics, which will help countries better monitor and track their progress.
The GFF partners also announced the next group of eight countries— Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda—to benefit from the GFF, with the goal of supporting 62 high-burden low- and lower-middle income countries within five years.
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Jim Yong Kim remarks
Commentary: The Lancet
Global Financing Facility
Every Woman Every Child