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Governments, Private Sector Partners Come Together At Child Survival Call To Action In Washington

The two-day Child Survival Call to Action, “a conference hosted by the government in collaboration with Ethiopia, India and UNICEF to recognize and promote efforts to curtail child mortality,” began in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports, noting that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actor Ben Affleck, founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, “were two of more than 80 governmental, civil society and business leaders slated to speak at the conference Thursday and Friday.” During her speech, Clinton said improving child health “cannot be just a job for governments,” and she “announced that more than 60 faith-based organizations from 40 countries were joining the fight to end preventable childhood deaths through promotion of breastfeeding, vaccines and health care for children,” the news service writes (6/14).

Clinton also “announced the establishment of a unique and historic global development alliance (GDA) — Survive and Thrive: Professional Associations, Private Sector and Global Health Scholars Saving Mothers, Newborns and Children — to improve survival rates for women and children around the world,” a Survive and Thrive press release reports (6/14). In addition, she announced the Women’s Health Innovation Program, aimed at “educat[ing] and empower[ing] parents in-need so they can expect a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and a healthy baby,” according to a Department of State fact sheet on the program, which is “supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a $4.5 million grant to the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls” (6/14). In a press release, UNICEF states that a declaration “by two private companies, the U.S. and Canadian governments and leading global health organizations to scale up treatment of childhood diarrhea and pneumonia” was also announced at the event on Thursday (6/14). In addition, “governments, along with private and religious partners, are being asked to pledge their support for A Promise Renewed, a commitment to work on national plans for child survival, monitoring their results and focusing greater attention on the most vulnerable countries and communities,” UNICEF writes in a news story on its webpage (Niles, 6/14).