For the past ten years, the UN Millennium Development Goals have provided a blueprint to build stronger nations by setting aggressive goals from halving extreme poverty to significantly reducing maternal and child mortality to promoting gender equality.  The ambitious agenda and relatively short time period galvanized unprecedented collaboration among governments, international organizations and private partners to achieve results by the year 2015.

With five years remaining until the target date, new alliances are being formed to ensure real progress is made.  Today the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg, Australia Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a five-year public/private global alliance to contribute to the goal of reducing the unmet need for family planning by 100 million women, expand skilled birth attendance and facility-based deliveries, and increase the numbers of women and newborns receiving quality post-natal care by 2015.

The Alliance will specifically address aspects of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, Reduce Child Mortality,and 5, Improve Maternal Health,where progress has been especially slow. Currently, it is estimated that more than 200 million women want to use contraceptives but don’t have access. In addition, only half of the 123 million women who give birth each year receive the antenatal, delivery and newborn care they need; and progress in reducing deaths has been slower for newborn deaths than for deaths among children ages one month to five years.

The Alliance includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Watch Karin Slowing Umaña, Secretary of Planning and Programming, Republic of Guatemala, and Hon. Prof. David Mphande PhD, Minister of Health, Malawi, talk about maternal and child mortality in their respective countries and how the Global Health Initiative is a key partner towards meeting MDGs 4 & 5.