Statement on Nigeria’s Quarterly Acceleration Plan for Meeting the Health MDGs
by Ray Chambers
Statement from Ray Chambers, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, on Nigeria’s Public-Private Acceleration Plan to Achieve the Health MDGs.
Today – with only 695 days remaining until the deadline for achieving the globally endorsed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a remarkable coalition of government officials, private sector leaders and development partners came together to present an aligned vision for accelerating progress to achieve the health-related MDGs in Nigeria, over the remaining 8 quarters.
We congratulate Nigeria for its commitment to the MDGs and to saving 400,000 children’s and 20,000 mothers’ lives by the end of 2015, which is essential for the world to reach the goals and for Nigeria to make continued strides in improving the lives of its citizens. These lives are, without any compare, Nigeria’s most precious commodity.
In particular, we would like to acknowledge the critical leadership of the His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Honorable Minister of Health C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu.
Today is a landmark day for Nigeria. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and I are fully supportive of the unique partnership that has emerged in Nigeria between the public and the private sectors, and the Quarterly Acceleration Plan that was announced today by the Government of Nigeria, which presents business-like quarterly milestones to achieve the health-related MDGs, focused on the health of women and children.
I was pleased to meet with several of the visionary leaders of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) – including Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Aig Aigboje-Imoukhuede – who have pledged their full commitment to partnering with the government to ensure that children do not continue to needlessly die.
In addition, we are greatly appreciative of the alignment of Nigeria’s faith leaders with these important health plans and of their commitment to the health of all Nigerians, regardless of belief.
As the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs, I am aware of the critical importance for all funding streams to align over the next eight quarters to execute this plan, state-by-state. The international community stands ready to support Nigeria.
I fully expect the necessary funding to be made available from various partners in the international community – including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the World Bank, UNICEF, the RMNCH Fund, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and others – to complement what I know will be increased Nigerian government resources at Federal and State levels, as well as private sector resources. All resources must be carefully aligned with the newly developed Quarterly Acceleration Plan to be successful.
Going forward through the remaining 695 days to achieve the MDGs, we look forward to the regular quarterly progress reviews that are part of the plan, and to supporting this important public-private commitment to saving lives and improving the health of all Nigerians.
In addition, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon looks forward to discussing progress on this plan with His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, at the 500 day mark until the MDG deadline.