Working together to improve child and maternal health
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg met Bill and Melinda Gates today to discuss international health, the role of the private sector in the fight against poverty, and how the international financial crisis is affecting the world’s poorest.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stressed that: ”It is unacceptable and unnecessary that 10 million mothers and children die every year. A quarter of these children’s lives could be saved by vaccines that are either already available or will be in the near future.”
Bill og Melinda Gates are on their first visit to Norway. In this connection, they took part in an open meeting with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the Opera House in Oslo.
Bill and Melinda Gates have worked together with Jens Stoltenberg and the Norwegian authorities, particularly through GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), which promotes vaccination of children in poor countries and develops new vaccines against diseases that claim many lives in developing countries.
“Our cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation is a good example of a successful partnership between government authorities and private actors. Together we can make a real difference for the most vulnerable in the world,” Mr Stoltenberg added.
Mr Stoltenberg emphasised that the financial crisis makes it even more important for authorities to fulfil their commitments to those who are most vulnerable and for the private sector to come up with new initiatives and fresh capital.
Norway has increased its funding to GAVI to NOK 500 million a year up to 2015. This means that Norway will provide a total of more than NOK 6 billion for the vaccination of children in poor countries during this period.