The Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child welcomes the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development’s first £30 million commitment and the government of Canada’s additional Can$20 million pledge to the GFF Trust Fund, a combined total equivalent of US$54 million in new funding available to countries.
The contributions, announced at the FP2020 Summit, will help countries accelerate progress on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition, including the scaling up of family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights approaches. This will enable countries to capitalize on innovative financing opportunities available through the GFF—a multi-stakeholder partnership hosted by the World Bank Group—and improve the health of women, children and adolescents in the world’s poorest settings.
“Astonishingly, there are still 214 million women around the world who do not want to get pregnant but who are not currently using modern methods of family planning,” said UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel.“Global Britain is leading the world on sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights, helping millions more women make an informed choice to use desperately-needed family planning services.The UK Government’s Family Planning Summit with our international partners will empower millions more women and girls to take control of their own lives, boost global prosperity and help to address global population growth.”
“Canada is proud to support partnerships like the Global Financing Facility that enable sustainable financing for sexual and reproductive health and rights,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada. “By leveraging these partnerships, we are able to increase the impact of our investments beyond their original value. Together, we can build a world in which every pregnancy is intended, every birth is safe, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.”
This first commitment from the UK and additional contribution from the GFF’s longtime partner, Canada, come at a critical time for women, children and adolescents.
“These contributions will help countries scale up high-impact interventions more rapidly, specifically for family planning and other comprehensive reproductive health services,” said GFF Director Mariam Claeson. “We look forward to expanding our partnership and collaboration with the UK and Canada as we work to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women, children and adolescents.”
A total of 62 low- and lower-middle-income countries with high levels of maternal and child deaths and reproductive health needs are eligible to receive grants from the GFF Trust Fund. The GFF is currently active in 16 countries. A hallmark of the GFF Trust Fund is its ability to contribute to the mobilization of resources for these countries’ investment cases by increasing their domestic resources, aligning donor contributions, and linking trust fund grant money with concessional financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) or International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). So far, 10 IDA or IBRD projects have been approved by the World Bank Group’s Board, totaling $1.3 billion in IDA/IBRD financing supported by $292 million in GFF Trust Fund grants.
“The World Bank Group has a long history of investing in women and children’s health, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the smart thing to do. We cannot help countries foster inclusive economic growth, and neither can we eradicate poverty, if we only invest in the capabilities of half the population and neglect the rest,” said Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Chief Executive Officer.“ Support from partners, strong country ownership, and innovative financing are all essential to close the financing gap in this area.”
“The Global Financing Facility has the potential to increase the ability of developing countries to finance their own national health programs, reducing reliance on foreign aid over time,” said Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chair of the GFF Trust Fund Committee. “It’s encouraging to see the UK and Canadian governments step up their support alongside other donors, including the Gates Foundation, for this financing solution that will save and improve the lives of more women, newborns and children.”