Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Bill Gates will visit Ottawa on February 25, 2015.
The visit will provide an opportunity to take stock of the productive and longstanding partnership between the Government of Canada and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and to discuss opportunities for future collaboration, especially in the area of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH).
More specifically, the two are expected to discuss ways of ensuring that MNCH remains a global priority, including as a prominent feature of the post-2015 development agenda, and the need to develop clear, measurable objectives to end the preventable deaths of women and children.
The Government of Canada and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have a long history of successful collaboration in support of international development, including in the context of the G-7 and G-20. In addition to working closely together on Canada’s 2010 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the two continue to collaborate on global health and food security issues, including immunization, polio eradication and agricultural development.
In June 2010, under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, world leaders launched the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The initiative focused on saving the lives of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five in developing countries.
In May 2014, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach_Summit, during which Canada committed to support MNCH between 2015-2020 and renewed global momentum to advance MNCH as a global priority.
Together, these initiatives have achieved tremendous progress toward saving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable mothers, newborns and children, and galvanized efforts through significant financial commitments and strategic partnerships.
Since 2010, Canada alone has committed over $6 billion to the cause.
“Civil society organizations, including foundations, continue to play a critical role in improving maternal, newborn, and child health around the world. As a global leader on these issues, Canada has had the opportunity to forge partnerships with dynamic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, resulting in the pooling of knowledge and resources for the greater good of humanity.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper