Brown launches International Health Partnership

The prime minister today launched his International Health Partnership (IHP) which will attempt to improve the flow of international investment to poverty stricken countries.

Back in 2000 the UN agreed eight Millennium Development Goals aimed at eradicating extreme poverty, improving global healthcare and providing universal primary education for children in deprived regions of the world.

But mid-term reports have revealed progress towards these goals has been limited.

The report said a "new approach" was needed in order to meet healthcare goals by the target year of 2015.

The launch of the IHP today will attempt to solve existing problems and accelerate progress towards the millennium goals.

It will attempt to strengthen weak healthcare systems suffering from a lack of workers and clinics, and better coordinate investment to these areas.

At the IHP announcement last month, the prime minister released a joint statement with German chancellor, Angela Merkel, pinpointing the significant challenges that lay ahead.

They said: "Half a million women still die unnecessarily every year in childbirth, ten million children do not reach their fifth birthday, and only one in four of those in need of AIDS treatment in Africa is able to receive it.

"We see this [the IHP] as a critical step in our call for an international mobilisation of effort to achieve the MDGs that will build year on year until 2015.

"Our efforts must bring together the private sector, NGOs, faith groups, international agencies and governments in a new partnership to reduce poverty, improve health and provide opportunities for the poor across the world."

The mid-term MDG report did show some successes.

Aid for health has more than doubled from $6 billion in 2000, to $14 billion in 2005, and deaths from measles - one of the main child killers - have fallen by 60 per cent since 1999.

At today's IHP launch, Mr Brown pledged to reduce child and maternal mortality and tackle diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, by increasing access to health services.

He said there will be a specific focus on the creation of sustainable health systems, and better application of investment to ensure "health plans are well designed, well supported and well implemented".


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.