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Coronavirus

Global Alliance Pledges $20B in Aid for Newborns

December 13, 2020

UNITED NATIONS — A global alliance of more than 1,000 organizations has announced $20.6 billion in pledges to help women, newborns, young children and adolescents deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as longstanding issues.

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, which is hosted by the World Health Organization, says $16.1 billion are new commitments to address COVID-19, $2.2 billion is new money not linked to the coronavirus, and $2.3 billion is new funding for existing programs.

Low and middle income countries including Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria pledged a total of $6.6 billion while $14 billion came from international aid and grants from Germany, Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the partnership said. The pledges were announced Thursday and Friday.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who chairs the partnership, says: “Our concern is that resources — insufficient to begin with — are being diverted away to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Clark, who also led the U.N. development agency from 2009 to 2017, said the $20.6 billion will ensure women, children and adolescents can access health services and priority social protections throughout the COVID-19 crisis and recovery periods.

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