G8 summit pledges new aid to mothers and young children

A mother and baby in Maputo, Mozambique, 9 June 2010 Improving the health of mothers and children is a leading development goal

The G8 summit has agreed to provide a further $5bn (£3.3bn) over five years towards improving the health of mothers and young children in the developing world.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement at the summit in Toronto.

The funds are intended to help tackle one of the international targets known as the UN Millennium Development Goals.

But anti-poverty groups say the pledge does not meet the scale of the problem.

Together with other donations, including one from the Gates Foundation, the full pledge will amount to $7.3bn.

One of the Millennium Development Goals is to reduce by three-quarters the death rate among mothers and young children.

Mr Harper said he would like to achieve even more.

"We are committed to moving the world towards the day when women in developing countries will not die or suffer disabilities from pregnancy or childbirth," he told reporters.

However development lobby groups say they are disappointed by the $5bn pledge.

One said the initiative failed to meet the needs of many mothers and children in the poorest parts of the world.

Campaigners have also heavily criticised the G8 for falling short on a promise made at a previous summit to increase total development aid.

More on This Story

Global Economy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories



  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents

  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?

  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force

  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath

  • A ship is dismantled for scrap in the port city of Chittagong, BangladeshDangerous work

    Bangladesh's ship breakers face economic challenge

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.