Feature story

UNFPA and CARE announce partnership to improve maternal health

09 June 2010

A version of this story has been published at unfpa.org

UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya ObaidUNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid (centre) with midwives whose key role in maternal health has been highlighted throughout the Women Deliver conference. Credit: Moises Saman

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and CARE International, one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agencies, have announced an agreement to enhance collaboration on maternal health programmes in more than 25 countries. This move, launched at the Women Deliver conference in Washington DC, will bring together UNFPA’s effective work with national governments and CARE’s expertise in engaging local communities.

"No woman should die giving life. Through collaboration we can make a bigger impact to improve the health of women and girls. UNFPA partners with governments, other UN agencies and civil society to advance the health and rights of women and girls, and we welcome this new partnership with CARE," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, when signing the agreement at the conference in Washington, DC.

No woman should die giving life. Through collaboration we can make a bigger impact to improve the health of women and girls. UNFPA partners with governments, other UN agencies and civil society to advance the health and rights of women and girls, and we welcome this new partnership with CARE.

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA

A key element of promoting maternal health is mounting an effective challenge to HIV as, according to a recent World Health Organization report, AIDS-related illness is the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age in low- and middle-income countries.

Through the Mothers Matter Programme, CARE aims to reduce maternal death by improving access to safe pregnancy and delivery services for 30 million women by 2015. Similar to the work of UNFPA, this signature programme will focus on family planning, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care within the context of a functioning health system. The Mothers Matter strategy aims to empower communities and civil society organizations to advocate for, and participate in, improved maternal health care; to mobilise local governments and civil society to ensure access to responsive health systems; and to promote supportive policy action while advocating internationally for greater global commitment and investment of resources.