…is #5, the agreement to reduce global maternal mortality levels by 75%, according to a moving appeal in The Huffington Post by Ethiopian model Liya Kebede. She sounds a welcome call for a “Global Fund for Moms,” whom she rightly calls “our best stimulus package”:
In times of economic crisis, it is tempting to turn inward, to ignore or postpone the problems of the outside world and focus on ourselves. But, if we hope to thrive once again, we must realize that there are no outside problems in today’s interwoven, globalized world. Each mother who dies leaves behind a devastated family and weakened community that will eventually, somehow, affect each of us. Each mother who dies deepens the financial and social strain on our world and puts economic recovery further away. Mothers are our best stimulus package because they invest in their families and in our collective future.
Half a million women and girl, disproportionately in the developing world, die in childbirth every year, yet funding for maternal health programs from wealthy nations has actually decreased. While this sad statistic may not be surprising, given the desperate humanitarian funding shortage that has accompanied the slumping economy, it is nonetheless counterproductive. Helping mothers around the world ensures a better future for all, in this generation and the next.