(Bloomberg) -- The Global Financing Facility, set up to promote access to health services for millions of women, children and adolescents, is hoping to secure $800 million from donors next week at the World Health Summit.
The Netherlands has confirmed that it’s tripling its investment to €110 million ($116 million), and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation has committed $50 million.
If the full amount is raised, it would help to unlock $20.5 billion in investment, aiding 250 million women and juveniles in 2030, according to the GFF. The fund-raising is part of a goal of $1.9 billion over four years.
Set up in 2015 by the World Bank, United Nations and others, the GFF aims to use relatively small amounts of grant funding to catalyze greater domestic public and private investment in maternal and child health and nutrition.
The World Bank estimates that 41 governments will spend less on health in the next three to four years than they did prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. That comes even as women’s and child health already faces chronic underinvestment, according to GFF.
“When a crisis hits, it is too often the women and adolescent girls who are left behind, particularly when already fragile health services such as family planning are disrupted,” said Luc Laviolette, head of the GFF secretariat.
By accessing funding, Mozambique improved its adolescent birth rate to 158 per 1,000 woman last year, from 194 in 2015. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the number of women accessing modern contraceptives rose by 60% in the five years through 2022, according to the fund.
The funding comes as climate-related health emergencies climb in Africa. A tropical cyclone that hit southern Africa twice earlier this year wrecked or flooded more than 300 hospitals and clinics in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as forcing people from their homes. That means that communities already strained by poverty and a lack of resources have even less access to the help they need.
“Cyclone Freddy took away sexual and reproductive rights that have been hard-won over many years,” said Christina Chilimba, a youth advocate in Malawi. “For young women, this can change the whole course of our future.”
(Updates with total goal over four years in third paragraph.)
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