Missions - Anglicord
Anglicord welcomes aid commitment
Aid organisations last month welcomed the Federal Budget's commitment to foreign aid spending and overseas aid agency Anglicord says that thousands of lives will be saved by the 14 per cent rise in the proportion of aid going to maternal and child health.
Anglicord is about to embark on a significant five-year program to improve maternal and child health services for nomadic communities in parts of Ethiopia and Kenya where as many as one in 12 women die from pregnancy-related causes.
The lack of access to health care also means a high infant mortality rate.
Misha Coleman, CEO of Anglicord, said that she welcomed the government's commitment to meet the promised foreign aid levels. ‘Funding health programs to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and improve maternal and child health care is fundamental to providing a sound basis for progress in the developing world. If children cannot grow up healthy and strong, their communities cannot thrive.
‘The Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015 will not be met at the current rate of improvement, and proper attention to health funding is vital if we are to hasten our progress,' she said.
Anglicord will undertake its maternal and child health program in partnership with AusAID, the Australian Government agency responsible for Australia's overseas aid program. This partnership increases the scale and impact of the project considerably, although donor money will still be essential to meet Anglicord's co-contribution commitments.
Additionally, a new office will be established in Nairobi in partnership with the Mothers Union in the Diocese of Kenya, with strong support from Kenya's Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. This will reduce the cost of managing the programs and enable more effective monitoring.
The program will reach women and children in the Afar region in Ethiopia, and Maasai communities in Kenya. Nomadic communities such as these are often forced to move into remote areas in search of pasture and water for livestock.
Easily preventable diseases can then rapidly become a matter of life or death due to lack of access to sanitation and health care.
Ms Coleman says that Anglicord has devoted its 2011 Winter Appeal, For Their Future, to projects that will improve the quality of life for children and their communities in the developing world.
‘Children cannot have a future when they don't even have a beginning,' she said.
By Jane Still, Anglicord
Maasai woman and child.
Photo: Jay Mahaswaran