KIGALI - Rwanda has been listed among developing countries to benefit from part of the US $ 7.3 billion pledged by G8 countries towards reducing maternal and child deaths in a new initiative known as the Muskoka Initiative.
This was announced at the 36th G8 summit in Canada at the end of last month committing collectively to spend an additional $5 billion for next five years to accelerate progress towards achieving MDG 4 and 5 in developing countries.
Other donors include some members of G20 countries (Norway, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland), UN foundations, and some international foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to Dr. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija a board member on George Washington University in the US, Rwanda is among developing countries that have shown a high level commitment in achieving MDGs.
“Rwanda has made tremendous change in MDGs especially 4, 5 and 6,” said. Ayoade.
He added that the Obama administration has selected eight countries, among them Rwanda, to serve as learning labs for a new global health strategy aimed in part at reducing maternal and child deaths and combating preventable diseases.
She said the move is among the first steps in the administration’s overhaul of global health efforts, which calls for slowing increases in funding for HIV/AIDS programs, currently the cornerstone of U.S. health policy.
The new strategy would also devote more funding and attention to fight neglected tropical diseases and implementing other initiatives.
This comes amidst concerns about how much support President Barack Obama will win from Congress for a proposed 9% increase in global health spending for the fiscal year 2011.
Quoting an administration officials familiar with the plan, Dr. Ayoade said that countries tapped to receive technical assistance and other resources are Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Guatemala.
Analysts say that between 20 and 30 billion dollars are needed to successfully reach the targets of reducing maternal and child mortality and reproductive health access before the deadline.