Maternity Matters: Funding The Future

This in-depth series will explore how public donor funding is impacting the future of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health ecosystems. Learn more about how we can further elevate coverage of maternal health and circulate best practices and learnings among donors, investors, experts and local communities.

DONOR REPORTS: Funding the Future

There is a $33 billion annual financing gap affecting reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health — or RMNCAH — services. Devex in sponsorship with MSD for Mothers is engaging with some of the leading donors in RMNCAH to understand how they work with the private sector to support the health of women, children and adolescents across the world.

DONOR REPORTS: Funding the Future

Part I: The Global Fund

Download Part I

Part II: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Download Part II

Part III: The World Bank, European Union, U.K. FCDO and Swedfund.

Soon available


Achieving real change for the SDGs requires building on past successes and applying best practices to create impact and reach scale. Explore the resource hub to learn more about how the private sector is engaging development partners to improve outcomes in RMNCAH.

Private sector expertise and capabilities: Business and scientific expertise to close the innovation gap

Public-private partnership to improve supply chains in low- and middle-income countries

Global Financing Facility/Merck for Mothers/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/and more

A partnership between The Global Financing Facility, Merck for Mothers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UPS Foundation is leveraging private sector expertise in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen supply chains in critical areas including transportation, warehousing and distribution. The public-private partnership seeks to improve access to life-saving medicines and health commodities for women, children and adolescents in GFF countries.

Project Last Mile

CocaCola/The Global Fund/U.S. Agency for International Development/and more

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in partnership with Coca-Cola, launched Project Last Mile in 2010 to utilize the beverage producer's logistics, distribution, supply chain and marketing capabilities to provide life-saving medicines and medical supplies to last mile communities. The project was conceptualized to address the severe lack of access to critical medicines and health care services in Africa.

European Health Platform

European Union/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In partnership with EIB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the EU has committed guarantees of up to 438 million euros under the European Health Platform to ensure equitable procurement and supply of vaccines in Africa and EU Neighbourhood countries. The platform also covers the risk of non-payment of governments to private sector laboratory and diagnostic companies while partially covering the risk of EIB loans to public and private sectors for improving diagnostics.

PPP to provide specialized cardiac care services in Ethiopia

The Netherlands/Philips/the government of Ethiopia

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with tech company Philips is supporting the Ethiopian government to build the country's first specialized cardiac center to address critical services of cardiology services in Ethiopia. The 40 million euro, seven-year agreement is expected to grant broader access to key health services and address the critical shortage of cardiology services in the country.

Private sector financial instruments: Private capital to close the $33B financing gap

Strategic Investment Fund

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office/ Bayer/and more

Through the use of volume guarantees, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped increase women's access to better family planning options, including access to safe and affordable contraceptives. During the first five years of the agreement, more than 42 million implants have been distributed to the world’s poorest countries, with partners Bayer and Merck committing to extend the pricing for an additional five years to sustain the accessibility and affordability of health commodities.

Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents

World Bank/World Health Organization/United Nations Population Fund/and more

The World Bank has partnered with the private sector and governments to leverage financial resources in support of RMNCAH through the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents. The GFF facilitates increased public-private collaboration to create an enabling environment that allows the private sector to complement public sector initiatives in scaling up the delivery of high-quality, affordable health services and commodities.

Health Insurance Fund

The Netherlands/Children’s Investment Fund Foundation/World Bank/and more

The Health Insurance Fund is a partnership between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private companies aimed at increasing access to health care for people in Africa. The fund has been instrumental in reducing maternal mortality through increased access to high-quality prenatal care and delivery services. Through HIF support, implementing partner PharmAccess developed MomCare, a digital platform that connects expectant mothers to health care providers for care and treatment.

India Health Fund

The Global Fund/Tata Trusts

Through a $15 million seed fund from Tata Trusts, the Global Fund developed the India Health Fund, an innovative financing platform that pools private sector resources within India and invests the money to tackle TB and malaria in the country. The fund also supports initiatives that seek to improve the health of women, adolescents and children. The fund's overall goal is to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025 and malaria by 2030 in India.

Increasing access to affordable contraceptive implants

U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office/Bayer/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/and more

The UK signed a volume guarantee agreement with Bayer to offer its contraceptive implant Jadelle at half the price in exchange for a six-year commitment to finance 27 million devices. The partnership had an initial estimated target of reducing up to 28 million unintended pregnancies, preventing 280,000 infant and 30,000 maternal deaths. Key partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CIFF, Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNFPA, and the governments of Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Private sector development: Supporting local private health providers to close the supply gap

Grand Challenges Canada financed a feasibility study for implementing Integrated Community Case Management for childhood illnesses in unlicensed drug shops in Uganda. A total of 215 drug shops were identified, of which 126 were unlicensed, with a total of 12 drug shop proprietors selected for training. This helped private sector drug sellers, who are often consulted for diagnosis and treatment, provide more accurate assessments of childhood illnesses.

Strengthening maternal care in East Africa

Swedfund/Jacaranda Maternity

Together with the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and the Africa Healthcare Fund, Swedish development finance institution Swedfund funded private health service provider Jacaranda Maternity to reduce maternal and infant mortality in East Africa. An accredited provider of maternity and gynecological procedures, Jacaranda Maternity opened its first clinic in Nairobi in 2012 and is expanding operations across Kenya offering safe and affordable options for maternity and pediatric care, including consultations for reproductive health and family planning.

Expanding access to safe, quality medicine for all

International Finance Corporation/Goodlife Pharmacy

The IFC supports local pharmacies through its financial instruments to help build the market of high-quality retail pharmacies in East Africa. In Kenya, the IFC provided a $4.5 million loan to local pharmacy retail chain Goodlife Pharmacy to allow lower-income customers to access essential health commodities. Through IFC's loan, the pharmacy intends to expand their operations from four locations to 20 branches across Kenya.

Addressing health workforce gaps in Liberia

European Union/World Health Organization/United Nations Population Fund/and more

Investing in a highly-trained health workforce saves the lives of mothers and newborns and ensures that communities have adequate access to quality primary care. To address health workforce gaps in Liberia, the EU supports local health service providers by financing in-depth training to midwives, nurses and community birth attendants to enable them to perform advanced obstetric care, including abdominal surgery and advanced neonatal care, in an independent and safe manner.

Harnessing non-state actors for better health for the poor

U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/U.S. Agency for International Development/and more

The UK government supports private sector actors through the HANSHEP initiative, a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FCDO, USAID and the World Bank. Programs include the African Health Markets for Equity, which leveraged the private sector to enable poor communities in Kenya and Ghana to access local, high-quality primary health services, and the Health Enterprise Fund to assist the development of innovative solutions that address critical health priorities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The IntegratE project is a four-year project co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck for Mothers Foundation to improve the quality of family planning services provided by community pharmacists and patent and proprietary medicine vendors while creating an enabling environment for the sustainable delivery of these services. The Society for Family Health is a key implementing partner in Lagos and Kaduna States.

Supporting local entrepreneurs to provide last mile health services

The Netherlands/Healthy Entrepreneurs

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided a loan to Healthy Entrepreneurs, a network of community health workers, through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) to provide basic health care services in remote areas while providing incomes for local entrepreneurs. Healthy Entrepreneurs trains individuals, particularly women, with each investing $40 worth of medical products, to sell in the most remote areas.

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MSD For Mothers

MSD For Mothers

MSD for Mothers is MSD’s $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life. For nearly a decade, the initiative has focused its efforts on generating fresh thinking and catalyzing new approaches to help end the longstanding challenge of maternal mortality.

Globally, every two minutes, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, however, most of these deaths are preventable when women have access to modern contraception and quality maternal health care before, during and after childbirth. MSD for Mothers takes a holistic approach to addressing the community factors and inequalities that impact maternal health, leveraging the private sector for our shared public good to help improve maternal health and help end preventable maternal deaths. By focusing energy where the need is greatest, MSD for Mothers is making progress in having an impact on women’s lives and, at the same time, strengthening capacity for sustained impact through mixed health systems on health care delivery today and tomorrow.

MSD for Mothers is an initiative of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, U.S.A..