UNFPA and CARE Announce Partnership to Improve Maternal Health Globally

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Women Health News
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WASHINGTON, June 7 Leaders from UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, and CARE International announced today at the Women Deliver Conference an agreement to enhance collaboration on maternal health programs in more than 25 countries. This unique collaboration will bring together UNFPA's effective work with national governments and CARE's expertise in engaging local communities.

"No woman should die giving life. Through collaboration we can make a bigger impact to improve the health of women and girls. UNFPA partners with governments, other UN agencies and civil society to advance the health and rights of women and girls, and we welcome this new partnership with CARE," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, when signing the agreement at the Women Deliver Conference in Washington, DC.

Both CARE and UNFPA work hard to reduce maternal death and disability and have launched successful initiatives to speed-up progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 5, to improve maternal health.

"This partnership will fortify the life-saving work of CARE and UNFPA by leveraging our collective knowledge and experience working with women and their families in the poorest communities around the world," said CARE President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle. "Together, we will strengthen access to and delivery of maternal and reproductive health services."

Through the Mothers Matter Program, CARE aims to reduce maternal death by improving access to safe pregnancy and delivery services for 30 million women by 2015. Similar to the work of UNFPA, this signature program will focus on family planning, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care within the context of a functioning health system. The Mothers Matter strategy is to empower communities and civil society organizations to advocate for and participate in improved maternal health care; to mobilize local governments and civil society to ensure access to responsive health systems; and to promote supportive policy action while advocating internationally for greater global commitment and investment of resources.

UNFPA supports advocacy, policy dialogue and health systems strengthening, including reproductive health supply chains, to ensure universal access to reproductive health. Support focuses on the three pillars of reducing maternal mortality: family planning, skilled attendance at birth, and emergency obstetric care. UNFPA also promotes women's empowerment and gender equality.

Additionally, CARE has significant strength and experience in community and civil society work that compliments UNFPA's ability to work closely with governments, particularly ministries of health.

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the world's largest humanitarian aid agencies. Working side by side with poor people in 72 countries, CARE helps empower communities to address the greatest threats to their survival. Women are at the heart of CARE's efforts to improve health, education, and economic development because experience shows that a woman's achievements yield dramatic benefits for her entire family. CARE is also committed to providing lifesaving assistance during times of crisis and helping rebuild safer, stronger communities afterward. Visit www.care.org to learn more.

About UNFPA: UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA - because everyone counts


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