The G8 Muskoka Initiative: Maternal, Newborn and Under-Five Child Health

1 July 2010

At Muskoka, the G-8 has sought to mobilize the global community by championing a major initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health.

The initiative comes just a few months before countries of the United Nations will gather in New York to discuss the current state and outlook for achieveing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are a set of eight specific goals to reduce child mortality, the incidence of infectious diseases, poverty and hunger; to improve maternal health, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability; and to create a global partnership for development by 2015. As this year's G-8 President, Canada recognized an important opportunity for the G-8 to advance progress in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Laying the groundwork for the Muskoka G-8 Summit, ministers responsible for development assistance set out a number of core principles for a new G-8 initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health and build on past G-8 commitments, namely:

  • ensuring sustainability of results;
  • building upon proven, cost-effective, evidence-based interventions;
  • focusing on the countries with the greatest needs while continuing to support those making progress;
  • supporting country-led national health policies and plans that are locally supported;
  • increasing coherence of development efforts through better coordination and harmonization;
  • improving accountability; and
  • strengthening monitoring, reporting and evaluating.
The Initiative is focused on achieving significant progress on health system strengthening in developing countries facing high burdens of maternal and under-five child mortality and an unmet need for family planning. The G-8 initiative will be delivered in partnership with developing countries, other donors, international organizations and civil society.

This Initiative includes elements such as: antenatal care; attended childbirth; post-partum care; sexual and reproductive health care and services, including voluntary family planning; health education; treatment and prevention of diseases including infectious diseases; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; immunizations; basic nutrition and relevant actions in the field of safe drinking water and sanitation.


For more information see Annex 1 of the Muskoka Declaration: Recovery and new beginnings






Additional information