G8 development ministers meet on urgent global priorities

15:18, April 28, 2010      

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The annual meeting of the Group of 8 (G8) ministers for development affairs officially opened in Halifax, Canada Tuesday with a commitment to address some of the world's most urgent priorities, including Canada's G8 initiative to improve maternal and child welfare in developing countries.

Canada's Minister for International Cooperation Beverley J. Oda stressed in the opening remarks the urgency to improve food security, accountability, aid effectiveness, and maternal and child health in particular.

"We have the means and the tools to make a difference for vulnerable mothers, newborns and young children in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where most of their deaths occur," said Oda, flanked by her ministerial colleagues.

"As progress is lagging in meeting this urgent need, now is the time to target our efforts and act," she said, adding that effective and cost efficient methods exist to maximize efforts to save millions of lives in poor countries

She pointed out that another priority for Canada will be to update the G8 countries' collective work on food security commitments as well as to ensure that their international aid efforts are effective and accountable.

Canada currently holds the G8 presidency. As part of its objectives, Canada is championing an initiative to improve maternal and child healthcare in poor countries and has made it the centerpiece of its action plan.

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