I applaud the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the announcement of $1.5 billion for women and children's health. We share their commitment to making maternal, newborn and child health a priority. Focusing on women is not only the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing to do, because investing in the health of women also improves the health of their families and communities.
That is why the Obama Administration has developed the Global Health Initiative to strengthen programs that serve women and girls. The Initiative integrates and coordinates our health and development programs -- including family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition -- in order to build health systems and reach ambitious new targets.
We have a tremendous opportunity to reduce child and maternal mortality: recent studies have shown that we can make progress, and the world is paying attention. With the partnership of governments, private donors like the Gates Foundation, the United Nations, and multilateral and civil society organizations, we can leverage resources and generate the will to save the lives of women and children.