In May for the Global Week of Action, advocates from across the country sent a message to President Obama– “This year at the G7 summit, remember mothers and vulnerable children. Do not leave them off the post-2015 agenda.”
This past weekend, ahead of the G7 summit, World Vision workers from eight international offices carried your message to Germany.
“Globally, 6.3 million children under the age of five die every year, and once again, the majority of them are in fragile and conflict affected places. These children are the ones who suffer the most, and should be prioritized by G7 leaders,” reports Chris Derksen-Hiebert, World Vision International Director of Public Policy.
Derksen-Hiebert continues, “G7 leaders have a chance to make this year historical for children. Goals such as ensuring no child dies from preventable causes, ending hunger and extreme poverty by 2030 are only achievable if leaders rally support and commit resources now.”
Representatives from World Vision International, World Vision US, World Vision UK, World Vision Canada, World Vision Germany, World Vision Italy, World Vision France, and World Vision Japan gathered to create a visual representation of the need for strong policies to support mothers and children.
In the photo above, the Titanic represents current health systems, crashing into the iceberg of the pressure of global diseases, including Ebola, HIV, pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea. Each (World Vision worker dressed up as a) G7 leader is holding a lifesaver, representative of their ability to save lives, labeled with one of the following– vaccinations, nutrition, reproductive health, midwives, mosquito nets, hygiene and deworming.
Yesterday, policy outcomes of the G7 were announced. Progress was made in some key areas. However, World Vision feels that G7 leaders can further and strengthen their commitments to help the most vulnerable.
“On child and maternal health, we said G7 leaders needed to support the post-2015 goal to end preventable deaths of children by 2030. They have shown effort by funding the immunization of 300 million children, but immunization is only one part of a much bigger plan needed to save lives.
“On hunger and nutrition, we said G7 leaders needed to support the post-2015 goal to end child hunger by 2030. Aiming to relieve 500 million people from hunger and malnutrition is important, but the real test of this pledge will be whether it has an impact on the most vulnerable children, those who live and die unseen, unheard and uncounted.
“After the horrors of Ebola, we said G7 leaders needed to support poor countries to strengthen their weak health systems so children can access lifesaving health services. They have delivered a good plan to tackle disease outbreaks, but Ebola was only the tip of the iceberg. The G7 leaders must try harder to help the 17,000 children under the age of five who die every day, often because of weak health systems.
“On children living with war and conflict, we said G7 leaders needed to step up for them in this important year. The G7 missed the opportunity to address the needs of these children, who have missed out on the progress of the MDGs and previous G7 promises, and continue to suffer.
“On accountability, we said G7 leaders needed to deliver and fulfill promises made to children in previous summits. The failure to produce an annual accountability report calls into question progress on G7 commitments, undermining credibility.”
While World Vision will continue to work alongside you and partner organizations for more systemic policy changes. The fact that mothers and children were on the agenda, is in large part, because advocates like you did not let this group be forgotten.