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Douglas Alexander: Fighting together for a safer future for the world's children [Nov. 20th, 2009|10:38 am]
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Earlier today, I visited World Vision's UK headquarters to hear first hand from their staff about their latest campaign: 'Child Health Now'.

The work that NGOs do both to raise awareness and press for progress is vital to tackling global poverty and I pay tribute to World Vision for their campaigning and the daily difference their development and humanitarian work is making across the world.

More than 24,000 children in the developing world die each day and every year, more than nine million children do not live to see their fifth birthday. Every single one of those deaths is a stain on the world's conscience because so many of those deaths could have been prevented. Tackling this global tragedy is a key priority for Labour, as we strive to play a leading role in helping the world to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Labour has made the long-term commitment of £6 billion up to 2015 to improve health care in the developing world. In the last year alone this funding has delivered almost seven million bednets to protect families from malaria, trained over 60,000 health professionals and vaccinated over three million children against measles. We are helping more than 4.5 million people receive anti-TB drugs and three million more are being treated for HIV/Aids.

Most recently, at September's UN meeting of world leaders it was the UK that helped broker a decision by six developing countries to abolish the user fees which prevent poor people seeking treatment. That agreement could save the lives of millions of newborn children and their mothers simply by allowing them to give birth under medical supervision.

World Vision plays a vital role in driving forward this agenda by campaigning to encourage governments in the global North and South to keep the promises enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals. Working together, we can build a safer future for children across the world.


DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the UK Government's fight against world poverty. Find out more at http://www.dfid.gov.uk.

The road to Copenhagen: the UK Government's ambition for a global deal on climate change. Find out more at actoncopenhagen.gov.uk and about DFID's work at dfid.gov.uk/climate.

Douglas Alexander is Secretary of State for International Development.
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