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G8 maternal child health intiative a dismal failure – World Poverty Coalition

Prime Minister unable to rally support needed.

It displays indifference and irresponsibility to a tragedy that is fully preventable - Gerry BarrTORONTO: 25 June 2010: Pregnant women and young children can draw little comfort from the G8 leaders meager offering to alleviate their suffering.

Stephen Harper's announcement that his signature initiative has raised only $5 billion dollars from his G8 partners is nothing short of shameful, says the anti-poverty coalition Make Poverty History.

"It displays indifference and irresponsibility to a tragedy that is fully preventable, " said Gerry Barr, Chair of Make Poverty History and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.

At least 1,000 women a day die from childbirth related causes, almost all of them in the world's poorest countries. A staggering 24,000 children under 5 die each day. The gap in funding was $30 Billion, the G8s share of that sum would be $24 Billion.

"Its a very sad moment" says Dennis Howlett, Coordinator of Make Poverty History. "It calls into question the whole reason for the G8s existence. Development was supposed to be their key portfolio. If they can't save the lives of women and children, what is the point of their existence. "

The anti-poverty organization says the lesson here is that it is very difficult to rally support for an ambitious aid target if you have just frozen your own aid budget.

Links and sources
  Make Poverty History

Posted: June 26, 2010

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