November 09, 2006 12:33 ET

CIDA: Canada is Committed to Building a Better World with and for Children

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 9, 2006) - The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages, announced that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will contribute $45 million over five years to UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that will provide medical treatment to, and save the lives of, children and their mothers in Bangladesh.

"Canada is a leader in improving and saving the lives of children around the world," said Minister Verner. "Today's announcement will provide essential drugs and vaccines to treat children with common infections, and will help prevent pregnancy-related deaths."

Today's announcement builds on programs that have already proven to be effective. A total of $45 million over five years will be provided to UNICEF and the UNFPA to provide essential drugs and vaccines to prevent and treat common childhood infections in poor Bangladeshi children, as well as reproductive health commodities to improve the health of their mothers, which has a direct impact on the well-being of children. This funding will help to reduce deaths among mothers and children in Bangladesh.

"The Government of Canada is making investments that are helping to save the lives of millions of children and mothers in developing countries, and UNICEF welcomes their continued support," said Nigel Fisher, President & CEO of UNICEF Canada.

Immunization programs worldwide have already saved the lives of millions of children, and reproductive commodities, such as contraception, help to avert 2.7 million infant deaths and 215,000 pregnancy-related deaths, and some 685,000 children are spared from losing their mothers due to pregnancy-related deaths every year.

"This program will promote safe motherhood by providing women with the services and supplies they need for safe pregnancy and delivery," said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid. "Children and families benefit from having healthy mothers."

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Pascale St-Pierre
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)