MSD, a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., has committed $10 million to the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child to improve maternal and child health in low- and lower-middle-income countries worldwide through its MSD for Mothers initiative.
Through the GFF – a multi-stakeholder partnership hosted by the World Bank Group – countries are aiming to make a much greater impact on the lives of their most vulnerable citizens, with the goal of preventing an estimated 3.8 million maternal deaths, 101 million child deaths and 21 million stillbirths by 2030.
“Women are the cornerstone of a healthy and prosperous world. When a woman survives pregnancy and childbirth, her family, community and nation thrive,” said Chairman and CEO at MSD, Kenneth C. Frazier.
“Our partnership with the GFF demonstrates how the private sector can play a unique role in helping to improve maternal and child health worldwide. We look forward to contributing our resources and expertise to the GFF and its partner organisations to work toward the common goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths,” continued Frazier.
The contribution to the GFF Trust Fund – the first from the private sector – will be used for innovative financing and public-private partnerships (PPPs) to scale up high-impact interventions to help women and children to survive and thrive through critical periods of life: birth, the early years and adolescence.
MSD’s commitment advances the mission of MSD for Mothers, the company’s 10 year, $500 million global initiative to end the tragedy of women dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to financial support, MSD will provide business expertise to strengthen this multi-stakeholder partnership.
GFF partners include, in addition to the GFF implementing countries, the World Bank Group; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi; the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the United Nations; and the governments of Canada, Norway, Japan, the UK and the US.
“Private sector partners, like MSD through its MSD for Mothers initiative, are leading the way by supporting the GFF,” said Director of the GFF, Mariam Claeson.
“With the private sector and with all GFF partners, countries are building healthier futures for women, children and adolescents – and donors are getting even greater results for their money,” continued Claeson.
A total of 62 low- and lower-middle-income countries with high levels of maternal and child mortality are eligible to receive grants from the GFF Trust Fund; the GFF is currently active in 16 countries around the world. In each GFF country, partners are aligning their funding to support one country-driven investment case and strategy that will strengthen the health system by focusing on high-impact, fiscally efficient solutions.
With the financial assistance and technical expertise of corporations like MSD, GFF countries will develop innovative financing mechanisms to mobilise private sector capital, facilitating partnerships between global companies and countries and leveraging private sector capabilities to deliver better health results.
“You can’t have healthy children without healthy mothers, and the future of every country depends on having both,” said World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim.
“We need the support of all partners if we’re going to achieve our goal of universal access to healthcare for every woman and every child. We’re grateful for this financial contribution by MSD for Mothers, the first the Global Financing Facility has received from the private sector,” concluded Kim.