Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Canadian International Development Agency’s Muskoka initiative balances the need to address the immediate health challenges facing women and children in developing countries while also supporting countries’ efforts to build sustainable health systems for the future. CIDA includes family planning as part of an integrated package of health services.
CIDA’s approach consists of three paths: strengthening health systems to improve service delivery to maternal, newborn, and child health at the local level by training more health workers and increasing access to adequately equipped local health centres; reducing the burden of diseases to prevent and treat the prevalent diseases and illnesses that are the main causes of maternal and child mortality; and improving nutrition by increasing access to healthful and nutritious food and essential micronutrient supplements that improve and save lives. From the total commitment of $1.1 billion, over $935 million worth of Muskoka initiative projects are currently operational, of which approximately 9% is allocated to family planning.
Canadian taxpayer investments are achieving results for child health. For example, in Bolivia 53% fewer children under the age 5 are dying from malnutrition, and 205,000 women and newborns are benefiting from improved health services in Burkina Faso. In Haiti, Canada is supporting the reconstruction of Haiti’s National School of Midwifery and the construction of 10 maternity clinics, which will provide a range of reproductive and maternal health services. In Bangladesh, 1.4 million children have been treated for infections and diarrhea. In Afghanistan, more than 2,000 health workers, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health workers, have been trained in order to improve the quality and accessibility of the Afghan health care system.
Canada will continue to deliver on its commitment to the Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn and child health.
With regard to (b), CIDA is also partnering to improve the quality and availability of sexual and reproductive health services including antenatal care, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and the provision of information and resources in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania, five countries facing high burdens of maternal and under-five child mortality.
Canada's pledge of $1.1 billion in new funding to the Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn, and child health, MNCH, is in addition to the $1.75 billion of existing MNCH funding, for a total of $2.85 billion between 2010-11 to 2014-15. Out of the $1.1 billion new funding pledge, in fiscal year 2011-12, CIDA disbursed $825 million towards MNCH objectives, and over $26M for family planning has been disbursed in fiscal years 2010-11 and 2011-12, broken down as follows: $10.90 million in 2010-11, and $15.97 million in 2011-12.
With regard to (c), CIDA will continue to deliver on child survival, including maternal, newborn and child health by: working to improve access to maternal health care in an effort to reduce maternal and newborn deaths; investing more in child-specific, integrated health interventions, which include immunization, nutritional supplements, and clean water; investing more in the prevention of diseases such as HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and in water and sanitation, all of which directly affect mothers and children; strengthening sustainable health systems that can provide quality health care to mothers and children; and helping train health care workers to address the needs of mothers and children under the age of five.
As of September 26, 2012, out of the $1.1 billion new funding pledge, approximately $84 million of programming has been committed for family planning purposes. To date, more than $26 million has been disbursed and another $58 million will be disbursed from 2012 to 2015. This figure may change as new projects are approved or due to operational requirements.