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Aman, Gates Foundations collaborate on family health
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 10 - 2012

RIYADH – Arif Naqvi, Chairman Aman Foundation, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, signed a five-year framework agreement on family planning and health in Pakistan. They will also explore further areas for collaboration to advance global health and development.
The Aman Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believe that all people have the right to live a healthy and productive life. They recognize that achieving the Millennium Development Goals will require new partnerships, along with innovative funding mechanisms to encourage those with significant resources help the world's poorest people improve their lives.
Today, more than 200 million women in developing countries who do not want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives, information, and services, which lead to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
The maternal mortality rate in Pakistan is currently 276 per 100,000, and infant mortality at birth stands at 62 deaths per 1000 live births. In light of these worrying figures, both Aman and the Gates Foundation have pledged to invest $5 million each to address the gaps in reproductive health and family planning services in Pakistan. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “This is a significant co-investment partnership for our foundation which leverages Aman's on-the-ground knowledge in family planning and maternal and child health in Pakistan. It is also an example of the kind of smart partnerships that hold huge promise for the future. Investments in family planning have a transformational effect on the health and wealth of nations.”
Together, both Foundations have pledged a historic philanthropic commitment. “We will benefit from mutual learning, co-funding opportunities and the expertise of both an international and local civil society. The Aman Foundation's innovative work in the health and education sectors will improve maternal and child health and family planning outcomes among women in under-served populations and specifically communities of Karachi,” said Arif Naqvi, Chairman Aman Foundation.
Recently, Aman Foundation participated in the London Family Planning Summit which was organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the British government and UNFPA. The aim of the Summit was to “mobilize global policy, financing, commodity and service delivery commitments to support the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world's poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020”. At the summit, Aman Foundation was recognized as the only private organization from the developing world to have committed substantial funds towards this cause.
The London Family Planning Summit 2012 and Karachi Declaration 2009 directly inform this partnership in the areas of family health. – SG


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