Well, as you can imagine, for many of us in this room as I look around, this is a day that we have long waited for. And we are delighted to be part of this important initiative, and I thank the Secretary General for his leadership and congratulations on this remarkable effort. We look forward to working with you.
And the Obama Administration has put women and children at the heart of our development efforts, including our Global Health Initiative, a $63 billion initiative, to strengthen maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition, malaria prevention and treatment, HIV/AIDS, and TB programs. And this is more than just an increase in funding. It achieves – we hope to achieve better health outcomes over the long term by improving and integrating health systems so that far more women and their families have access to essential care.
In that spirit, I am pleased to announce a new joint effort between the development agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This five-year alliance aims to increase access to family planning and reduce maternal and neonatal deaths in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Our effort will contribute (inaudible) of increasing access to family planning by 2015 for 100 million women who now lack it. It will also boost the number of skilled birth attendants, babies delivered in clinics or hospitals, and women and newborns who receive quality medical care.
I’m very grateful that we’ll be working with our partners here on the podium and many of you, and let me apologize because this is UNGA week and I’m about 15 minutes behind for my next meeting. But you can count on the United States and the Obama Administration’s commitment to the successful achievement of this initiative. Thank you. (Applause.)
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