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Health News of Wednesday, 11 January 2012

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EU gives Ghana additional 52 million euros for maternal health

Accra, Jan. 11, GNA - The European Commission decided that starting from 2012, additional support to the tune of 52 million euros (110 million Ghana cedis) will be given to Ghana to reduce maternal mortality and achieve the MDG 5 targets.

A press release by the EU in Accra on Wednesday said this high quality project had been selected because it aimed to deliver concrete results by reducing maternal mortality and improving health care services.

It said the initiative to give additional support to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, to help them achieve the Millennium Development Goals, was launched by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso at the UN summit in September 2010.

With the additional funding the European Union will support the implementation of the “MDG Accelerated Framework and Country Action Plan” which the Ministry of Health developed to combat maternal mortality.

The press release said the three key priority intervention areas identified were improving family planning, skilled attendance at delivery and emergency obstetric and newborn care, which would be supported through sector budget support.

It said with this funding the European Union had sought to join hands with Ghana to reduce the unacceptable high burden of mothers dying while giving birth by a minimum of two-thirds by the year 2015 .

The press release said this was the statistical target as defined by the MDG on maternal health, but the global ambition was bigger, adding that the EU was proud to participate in the national campaign launched by the First lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills “Ghana Cares: No woman should die while giving life”.

The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "This additional EU support will make a major contribution to the fight against poverty. In line with our recent proposals for the future EU development policy, the 'Agenda for Change', we will invest our money where it is needed most and where we can achieve real results.”

The press release said the MDG initiative from the European Union mobilised additional funding for ACP countries whose MDGs were most off-track.

The money stems from one of the EU's main instruments of development aid, the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It envisages a total extra financial effort of one billion euros.

The European Union is one of the leading donors of development aid in Ghana.

Under the 10th EDF (2008 – 2013), an amount of 402 million euros is to be allocated to Ghana by the EU.

With the additional support of 52 million euros, total EU aid to Ghana will increase by 12 per cent to about 470 million euros (equivalent to almost 950 million Ghana cedis) during the period 2008 – 2013.

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