UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children

23rd March 2012

On 22 March, UNFPA and UNICEF announced the launch of a high-level commission to improve access to essential but overlooked health supplies that could save the lives of millions of women and children every year.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway will serve as founding co-chairs of the Commission, which will also include global stakeholders from the public, private, and civil society sectors. UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin are vice-chairs of the Commission, which is part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement to support achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Commission will identify strategies for improving the delivery of essential health supplies, including strengthening local production capacities, promoting new technologies and products, strengthening regulatory frameworks, and enhancing innovative financing mechanisms at both the global and local levels.

The Commission will focus on high-impact health supplies that can reduce the main causes of child and maternal deaths, as well as innovations that can be scaled up, including mechanisms for price reduction and supplies stability.

The Commission will pursue the following outcomes:
• Reducing financial barriers to access through social protection mechanisms, such as fee waivers, vouchers and social insurance, and global financial mechanisms, such as pooled procurement;
• Creating incentives for international and local manufacturers to produce and innovatively package overlooked supplies;
• Identifying fast-track regulatory activities to accelerate registration and reduce registration fees for a special list of products to encourage a focus on quality medicines.

The Commission will advocate at the highest levels to build consensus around priority actions for increasing the availability, affordability, access and rational use of overlooked health supplies that will prevent premature death and disease among children under five years old and women of childbearing age.

Through its members and Secretariat, the Coalition has contributed information to the Commission's working groups.

For more information on the Commission, visit www.everywomaneverychild.org/resources/un-commission-on-life-saving-commodities

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