By Muhammad Yasir
Pakistan has recently joined the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents (GFF) following the replenishment event that raised more than US$1 billion.
It is one of the 9 countries that has become part of the league including—Chad, Ghana, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Tajikistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—will join the GFF, bringing the total number of GFF-supported countries to 36.
Many Ministers of Finance have recently written to the GFF requesting support to accelerate progress on universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. This new group of GFF countries was identified based on both measures of need and country commitment that have been endorsed by the GFF Investors Group. With this additional group, the 36 GFF countries now cover 67.2 percent of preventable maternal and child mortality. Moreover, these countries correspond very closely with those requiring the most attention to their human capital outcomes as measured by the World Bank’s Human Capital Index.
“The GFF will help empower an additional nine countries to prioritize the health and nutrition of women, children, and adolescents within their budgets and to align partners around a country-driven, prioritized investment case to save lives and improve the health and well-being of millions,” said Mariam Claeson, Director of the GFF. “We are grateful to the new GFF-countries for their strong commitment to women, children and adolescents’ health and nutrition, and look forward to collaborating with them to bring high-impact reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition interventions to scale.”
The GFF partnership supports countries in three specific ways: 1) developing an investment case and implementation plan for prioritizing key reforms to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition and a strong primary health care system; 2) strengthening a country-led platform that aligns all key stakeholders around this investment case and uses data to make decisions and create mutual accountability; and 3) mobilizing and coordinating the financial resources needed to accelerate progress for the most vulnerable populations, often in the hardest-to-reach regions.
Since GFF was founded in 2015 by the World Bank, the governments of Canada and Norway, the United Nations and other partners, US$547 million in funding from the GFF Trust Fund has been linked to US$3.82 billion in funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The more than US$1 billion pledged to the GFF Trust Fund in November 2018 and after is expected to link to an additional US$7.5 billion in IDA/IBRD resources for women, children and adolescents’ health and nutrition. With additional funding, the GFF will expand to a total of 50 countries by the end of 2023.