Increased funding for child mortality in the Pacific

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today that New Zealand will contribute a further NZ$7 million to improve newborn mortality rates in the Pacific.

The Pacific has some of the world’s worst child mortality rates. Nearly 1,700 children under five years of age died in the Pacific in 2016.  More than 80 percent of those children died within their first year of life and half of those children died in their first 28 days.

“New Zealand’s increased funding will focus on improving child health policies; better early health services such as newborn care, immunisation and nutrition that are both high impact and low-cost; and stronger health promotion at a community level to increase awareness of, and improve practices that pose risks to child health,” Mr Peters says.

“Funding will help the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu as countries with some of the worst child health indicators.”

Funding will continue to support UNICEF as a long-standing partner of the New Zealand Aid Programme with considerable child health expertise in the Pacific and globally.

New Zealand has been providing support to UNICEF under the Pacific Maternal Newborn and Child Health Initiative since 2014, working closely to develop areas of focus, countries to target and interventions to be supported.

ENDS

Contact: Stephen Parker, Chief Press Secretary, 021 195 3528