Americas Need Canadian Commitment to Sexual and Reproductive Health

FOCALPoint: Canada's Spotlight on the Americas | December 2009, Volume 8, No. 9

The Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley Oda, unveiled the new Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Children and Youth Strategy on Nov. 20, 2009. It aims to increase child survival —including maternal health— to improve the quality of education and ensure the safety and security of children and youth. In the Americas where maternal mortality rates are stagnating and
teenage pregnancy is on the rise, this goal cannot be accomplished without renewed attention to sexual and reproductive health.

“(O)ur government will help the children living in poverty today become resourceful, engaged and productive adults,” said Oda.  “(W)e can make a difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable, particularly young girls.”

Canada’s re-engagement strategy for the Americas would benefit immeasurably from substantial investments in sexual and reproductive health programs, which are cost-effective and have important multiplier effects but have not yet attracted enough donor support.

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