The UN Foundation makes significant progress on commitment to improve women’s and children’s health, in support of Every Woman Every Child

New York, NY

September 24, 2012


Megan Rabbitt

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 (New York, NY) – As Every Woman Every Child marks its second anniversary today, the United Nations Foundation continues to implement its 5 year, $400 million commitment together with partners, which has helped the movement reach major milestones over its first two years, saving the lives of women and children around the world.

Every Woman Every Child was launched in September 2010 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to improve women’s and children’s health. In the two years since its launch, the Every Woman Every Child movement has seen remarkable progress, with numerous commitments implemented and enhanced; new partners coming on board; funding increased; policies improved; and services on the ground strengthened and expanded in 2012 alone.

“We’re already seeing significant progress in women’s and children’s health around the world, but the promising statistics tell only a part of the story,” says Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “Many women and children are still dying from preventable causes, and we must all keep driving to reach them over the coming years. Through a blend of innovative partnerships, advocacy, constituency building, policy change, and grant making, the UN Foundation is committed to the Secretary-General’s vision for this global effort. We appreciate the focus on accountability and results and believe that other partners do too.”

The UN Foundation has contributed to this success with a two-pronged approach. Since September 2010, the UN Foundation has

  • Assisted the Office of the UN Secretary-General and other partners with cultivating commitments from more than 260 partners around the world to improve policies in the U.S. and around the world on maternal, newborn and child health issues; and
  • Disbursed over $118 million in grants to UN agencies and other allies to support maternal, newborn and child health initiatives.

Since the UN Foundation was created in 1998, it has made improving women’s and children’s health a priority Funds have been distributed over various projects such as:

  • $200,000 in grant funding to support clean cookstove equipment, technology and programming.
  • More than $600 million to reach children in nearly 60 countries, with continued investments for measles prevention campaigns through the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
  • $2.6 million in health and education needs for adolescent girls through the UN Adolescent Girls Task Force and other initiatives.
  • Nearly $75 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and support to Friends of the Global Fund groups around the world.
  • Targeted support for pregnant women, and children under five through bed nets and other malaria interventions in more than 25 African countries through our Nothing But Nets campaign.

Every Woman Every Child has helped catalyze new attention and investment to some of the most neglected causes of women’s and children’s mortality, including contraceptive access, preterm birth and overlooked life-saving commodities.  As part of its commitment in support of Every Woman Every Child, the UN Foundation has engaged more than 430 new partners and over 320,000 constituents in the United States through its initiatives and campaigns. These strategies are to advance Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, related to children’s and maternal health, respectively.

In conjunction to catalyzing grant commitments throughout various projects and partnerships, the UN Foundation has also achieved other notable milestones in in advance of Every Woman Every Child, which include:

  • Launching the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to raise awareness, advocate and provide funding to support delivery of life-saving vaccines to children to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • mHealth Alliance helped catalyze the launch of two major multi-sector health initiatives: the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), which already has reached XX women in YY countries; and the mPowering Frontline Healthcare Workers initiative, as well as the launch of its Health Unbound website. In all, the Alliance has brought together over 75 confirmed members to support global mHealth goals to advance maternal, newborn and child health.
  • The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves release of their Igniting Change: A Strategy for Universal Adoption of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels plan to reduce the two million annual deaths caused by toxic cook smoke.

Moving forward, The UN Foundation plans to continue working with a wide range of partners and supporters to improve the health of millions of women and children around the world, and in doing so, improving the lives of all people. Looking ahead in the future, some of the plans include:

  • The Measles & Rubella Initiative continuing its efforts on meeting global reduction and regional elimination goals for measles and rubella.
  • Advocating for the global eradication of polio.
  • The UN Foundation’s Universal Access Project commitment to advocating for the right of every woman who wants access to voluntary family planning to receive it.
  • mHealth Alliance continuing to expand its partnership base as well as publishing recommendations for how mobile technology should be mainstreamed in public health to reduce child mortality.
  • Nothing But Nets continuing its work in raising awareness and funding to fight malaria, the leading cause of death among children in Africa.
  • The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves continuing its commitment to providing evidence based research for how household air pollution impacts child health.

While there has been much progress made by the many partners dedicated to helping improve the health and well being of millions of women and children, gains are fragile and momentum must accelerate if we are to reach our ambitious targets set by 2015. Through increased financing, strengthened policies and improved service delivery, healthy women and children will drive global development, enhancing our success in achieving all MDGs throughout the coming years.


About the United Nations Foundation: The UN Foundation connects people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We are an advocate for the UN and help take its best work to scale through advocacy, partnerships, constituency building and fundraising.