Nothing at Busan for African Women, Children
Some 250,000 mothers are estimated to die in Africa every year, leaving behind infants with reduced chances of making it beyond five years of age. Statistics by Save the Children, an international non-government organisation, reveal that African countries claim nine out of ten bottom places in a worldwide maternal health ranking that involves 164 countries. As HLF4 opens up, one of the questions that is being raised is whether African mothers and children can acquire substantial aid from the conference. Ben Philips of Save the Children says, "Unfortunately, the Busan Outcome document, which basically summarises the Forum’s platform for action beyond the conference, isn’t ambitious enough to improve aid effectiveness. For instance, there is no strong commitment to untie aid."
In additon, experts on aid in Busan say that if donors had shown a strong commitment to untie aid as an outcome of the ongoing conference, this would have increased aid by 15 to 30 percent, consequently increasing the value of aid. And this is not the only way in which donors are letting African women and children down. Although the G-8 countries, comprising the world’s richest nations, committed to ensuring that 0.7 percent of their budget goes to aid. None of them has actualised this commitment. "There’s a clear aid deficit that makes it difficult for poor countries to channel money into sector budgets towards improving health services by employing qualified nurses and even having more health facilities in areas where the poor can easily access them," said Dan Badoo, a policy researcher.
Lastly, Philips emphasized, "When we say that this is the HLF 4, it all sounds so technical and elitist, but what the ordinary, poor persons really need is to experience how healthy aid can improve their lives, can give them better quality livelihoods and save dying mothers and infants."