Convening for the Financing for Development conference, in the middle of July leaders from all over the world were meeting here in Addis Ababa. There were many hot topics on the agenda; was about tax, illicit flow of money, gender and health financing, whether female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages are a global problem, and whether goal 17 needs to remain in the main document and text of the post-2015 agenda.
Financing for Development – why were DSW there?
On July 16th 2015, the curtains came down on the financing for development conference, but with no clear Outcomes! However, DSW, represented by our Kenyan Country Director, Mr. George Kamau, and the Kenya Post 2015 focal person, managed to make the best of it! We started the week with our Kenya Director being able to brief Kenyan members of parliament, led by Hon. Mule of Matungulu and a member of the National Assembly’s Health committee, on importance of financing goals 3, 5 and 17. His presentation covered the current deficit of funds from the national government with the Kenyan government only securing 4.7% of its budget to health in the 2015/16 financial year.The directors message was simple; Domestic financing for health will be critical to the achievement of the Post 2015 agenda.
Financing for Development -the role of women and girls
Mr. Kamau was also able to address the Ethiopian media on the need for more expanded space for women and girls especially if gender and women empowerment is to be realized. Indeed, the issue of the instrumentalization of women is still at the centre of financing gender and health goals; it is critical for the world to look at women as equal human beings to men and thus finance their development, and not because they will bring more economic prosperity. The financing for development conference documents in the end failed to progress on this issue and still puts financing women and girls as a economic empowerment model.
While DSW acknowledges that investment in women and girls will have enormous benefits both socially and economically to the world, we pushed for the view of women and girls as human being with inherent rights and dignity that should be financing without thinking of how much this will bring in return.
We both then joined the demand more dollars campaign to ensure goals three, five and seventeen for the required resources; this was in our continued push for the theme ‘no development without finance’ and ‘leave no one behind in the sustainable development goals (SDGs)’.
The DSW team was then able to participate in the FGM debate where by there was a push for FGM and early marriages to be seen as regional and not global matters, indeed, The presentations showed facts that while FGM is common in 27 African countries, its is common in 17 Asian and Middle east counties thus a global problem that requires global intervention. DSW has now joined the girl generation which hopes to push for an end to FGM by 2020 in the world.
Financing for Development – the GFF
The launch of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) was a huge highlight for the DSW team in Addis; The United Nations, the World Bank Group, and the governments of Canada, Norway and the United States joined country and global health leaders on July 13th to launch the GFF in support of the Every Woman Every Child initiative, and announced that $12 billion in domestic and international, private and public funding has already been aligned to country-led five-year investment plans for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the four GFF front-runner countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
The GFF is a key financing platform of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. It is a country-driven financing partnership that brings RMNCAH stakeholders together, under national government leadership and ownership, to provide smart, scaled and sustainable financing to accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths by 2030.
For more information on DSW’s work on global health financing and gender equality, visit www.dsw.org/our-focus!