World leaders and donor associations have taken an oath to invest 7.3 billion dollars in aid by 2015, so as to lessen child mortality and save women in poor nations from dying in childbirth, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said Friday.
The leaders of the Group of Eight, industrial economies have pledged 5 billion dollars, whilst non-members for example New Zealand, Norway and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged an additional 2.3 billion dollars, Mr. Harper said.
The pledge is a remarkable commitment, he said. Women in developing nations will not have to suffer and die any more for reasons of pregnancy and childbirth.
Aid groups have drastically criticized the bloc for not living up to past pledges that had been taken, and the money pledged falls far short of the 24 billion dollars required by the international groups and the United Nations to perk up maternal and child health.
Robert Fox of Oxfam said that the vow for the maternal health proposal was lower than the lowest expectations.
Mr. Harper made a confession that budget restrictions brought on by the financial catastrophe of the last two years had played a function in the decisions of well-off nations.
But, he asserted that all the wealth came in new pledges, rather than transferring money from other areas.