UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

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  • UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

Recent research by the United Nations has revealed that countries need about $264 billion, the equivalent cost of 110 military aircraft, to end maternal deaths, gender-based violence, child marriage, and provide family planning to all women by 2030.

Giving a breakdown, researchers at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Kenya said an investment of $115.5 billion, which is equivalent to the cost of 46 high-end military aircraft, would end needless maternal deaths by 2030.

To end 12 million child marriage every year,  it would cost about $35 billion, according to the researchers who noted that $600 would be needed to save a girl from becoming a child bride – the equivalent cost of a one night in a luxury hotel.

Researchers said the $264 billion would be used for interventions like hiring medical staff, purchasing drugs, contraceptives and obstetric supplies, research, providing counselling and boost community outreach programmes.

Despite the commitments of countries toward three global goals related to women’s sexual and reproductive rights within the next 10 years, there was still a funding shortfall to meet these targets, according to report by the UN Population Fund.

UNFPA Executive Director, Natalia Kanem on Tuesday at the global conference said: “We now know how much and where we need to invest. These figures are a drop in the ocean compared to the dividend expected and the funds available.

“I believe it’s wrong to even refer to this as a cost. These are smart, affordable investments that will transform the lives of women and girls, their societies, and our world.

“The cost of inaction is much higher.”

One of the researchers, John Stover, director of Avenir Health said the cost was not any higher because many of the interventions to combat gender-based violence were the same required to reduce child marriage and female genital mutilation.

“Keeping girls in school and economic empowerment are key to all of these interventions. So in reality, it’s not very expensive – we have some idea how to do it, we just need the will power to go forward and do it,” Stover said.

What you should know: According to the UNFPA, more than 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth every day, while more than 230 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern contraception.

UNFPA further revealed that one in three women globally has faced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, while harmful practices – such as child marriage – mean every day 33,000 girls are being forcefully wed.

About the conference: International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is a three-day summit hosted by Kenya, which started on Tuesday.

It involves more than 6,000 participants ranging from heads of state to financial institution and civil society groups from 160 nations discussing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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