News / Africa

G8 Leaders Called on to Address Poverty, Maternal and Child Health

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

In the run-up to next week’s G8 and G20 summits many NGOs and humanitarian organizations are calling on world leaders to boost funding and fulfill past promises. But the troubled global economy may play a role on what leaders decide to do.

One of the many aid organizations that will attend the summits is World Vision, which has programs in 100 countries.

Robert Zachritz, World Vision’s director of advocacy and government relations in Washington, says, “We know the global economy is going to be the major aspect of discussion at both the Group of 8 and Group of 20 meetings.  But World Vision is really looking forward to ensure that global poverty is on the agenda, and specifically child and maternal health.”

A little goes a long way

Despite the poor economy, Zachritz says progress on those issues can be made.

“These are investments that really can save lives, that don’t cost that much money and have a high rate of return and need to be considered and keep political momentum moving on them,” he says.

While some new resources may be needed, he says, “In relative to what we’re spending in the global economy it doesn’t look like that much.  But yet can have a huge impact in saving the children’s lives.”

G8 Leaders Called on to Address Poverty, Maternal and Child Health
G8 Leaders Called on to Address Poverty, Maternal and Child Health

Many children, he says, are dying from preventable causes.  Several of the Millennium Development Goals concern child and maternal health.

Zachritz expects the economy to be front and center at the G8 and G20 summits, but adds, “Global poverty is equally an important issue.

Pat on the back

“Let’s also give the G8 and G20 credit where credit is due.  They have made progress to the “Gleneagles Commitments” back in 2005.”  For example, he says, on HIV/AIDS, “The U.S. government kept its promise.”

He says the Obama administration is also on track to keep its promise regarding funding for food security.

“Part of the message is how do you create a system of accountability… when G8/G20 leaders make promises,” he says.  Political leaders can change and with them their goals and commitments.

2015

The target date to reach the Millennium Development Goals is 2015.  Some groups say whether those goals are achieved may depend on what happens at the Canadian summits.

Zachritz says prospects for some MDGs are better than others.

“One of the things that I think is really special about the Millennium development Goals is they weren’t ‘pie in the sky.’  It was specific goals with specific outcomes, like child and maternal health,” he says.

He estimates the world is two-thirds of the way toward achieving that goal.

“World vision believes that is possible,” he says, “with both the political will and the attention and an increase in resources….  It’s not just about money.  It’s aid effectiveness.  Of making sure you’re focusing on the right interventions.”

He describes the summits as “critical,” adding, “You get synergy when you have whether it’s 7, 8 or 20 world leaders, the world’s major economies, talking about these issues.”

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid