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Kagame, UN ‘superheroes’ demand $60billion for mothers and children

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New York: After naming a panel of “superheroes” for the millennium development goals, the UN Secretary General says up to $60billion is needed to help them save mothers and children in the next 5 years, RNA reports.

“During the last 10 years, not much attention has been given to these particular two areas,” Ban told reporters at the UN. “When mothers are healthy, families are healthy, the children are healthy. That means we have a very sound and healthy community, and community means country and the world.”

The UN chief previewed his message to the G-20 meeting, on June 26 and 27 in Toronto, during a news conference after he announced a panel of “superheroes” to help the UN meet goals for reducing poverty, sickness and hunger by 2015.

President Paul Kagame and Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will lead a group that includes Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.

But analysts say the Secretary General’s request is not feasible.

“It is unlikely to be gotten, and won’t be all that is needed,” Harold Alderman, an economist and nutritionist for the World Bank, told Bloomberg News of Ban’s pending request to the G-20. “But it would save many lives, and then give you much higher lifetime consequences. So it is not something just good to do. It would be a good investment.”

Host Canadian PM Stephen Harper has come up with several initiatives to help the UN tackled the millennium challenges. G8 countries are Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia. The European Union always participates in the G8 summits as well.

Analysts say the tangibility of Harper's success will depend a great deal on the results of his self-described "signature initiative" to mobilize billions of dollars for programs to dramatically reduce the preventable deaths of about 500,000 women in childbirth each year and of millions of children — many from hunger, dirty water and lack of basic health care in rural areas and urban shantytowns in the developing world.

In advance of the summit, Harper was reportedly prepared to contribute $1 billion; $1.5 billion was pledged by the Gates Foundation, and contributions from other countries, G8 and non-G8, were expected.

A plan fronted by the host Canada estimates that almost $30 billion is needed to meet the MDGs set 10 years ago – within the next five years.



 

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