The World Bank Group President, Jim Yonkim has announced at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York that the bank group project will invest at least US$700 Million by 2015 to Improve Women and Children's Health in Poor Countries.
This new funding comes from the International Development Association (IDA). The Bank Group's fund for poorest countries will enable nations scale-up successful reproductive, maternal, and child health pilot projects that were made possible by support from its Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) and the IDA.
According to a release, the announcement followed the Bank President Kim's September 2012 commitment to help scale up funding for MDGs 4 and 5 as part of the UN Secretary General's Every Woman Every Child global partnership.
"We need to inject greater urgency into our collective efforts to save more women and children's lives, and evidence shows that results-based financing has significant impact," said Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
"The World Bank Group is committed to using evidence-based approaches to help ensure that every woman and every child can get the affordable, quality health care necessary to survive and live a healthy, productive life", he added.
Yesterday's $700 million announcement comes on top of a September 2010 Bank pledge to provide $600 million in IDA results-based financing for MDGs 4 and 5 by 2015.
The Bank has delivered on that pledge two years ahead of schedule. The release said this support has contributed to global declines in maternal and child mortality and expanded access to health care for poor women and children. It added that the Bank Group is working with countries to shift the focus from paying for inputs to paying for results.
"Payment to health service providers is explicitly tied to the successful delivery and independent verification of pre-agreed results. There is strong evidence that this approach works in Afghanistan, [where] the number of women delivering their babies with the support of skilled birth attendants more than doubled from April 2010 to December 2012 in treatment facilities" the release said.
The World Bank Group is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries with the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
Improving health is integral to achieving these goals. The Bank Group provides financing, state-of-the-art analysis, and policy advice to help countries expand access to quality, affordable health care; protect people from falling into poverty or worsening poverty due to illness; and promote investments in all sectors that form the foundation of healthy societies.