Wednesday marked the close of the G8 Summit
, where critical topics like climate change, global food security, and development were on the table. Much of the discussion of the latter centered on Africa
’s stagnating progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which G8 representatives partially attributed to widespread instability: “Peace and security are fundamental to states’ ability to meet the needs of their people. Fragile and post-conflict states remain farthest from reaching the MDGs,” said the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Leaders Declaration
. Investments in health, education, clean water and sanitation, access to electricity, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management were all identified as essential to attaining the MDGs.
It seems, however, that the G8 may have renewed its commitment to global health, including maternal and child health and nutrition. The declaration stated:
In some developing countries, achieving the MDGs on child mortality and maternal health is seriously off-track, and therefore, in country-led plans, the continuum of prevention and care, including nutrition should include a greater focus on maternal, new born and child health. Reproductive health should be made widely accessible.The United Nations has urged the G8 to demonstrate its commitment to these areas by increasing funding. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that $10 billion dollars would ensure basic coverage of maternal and child health worldwide. The G8 has finally caught on to these critical needs; it is now time to make real financial commitments to global health.