Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die Campaign

Thank you for contacting me regarding preventable child deaths, access to healthcare in developing countries and Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign.

I agree the UK should lead international efforts to reduce child preventable deaths and shape the post-2015 international development agenda.

Save the Children’s campaign states that 6.3 million children under the age of five die each year. And preventable child deaths are increasingly concentrated in the world’s poorest regions.

Good health is the bedrock of development. Ensuring everyone has access to affordable healthcare is essential to end poverty.

The best way to protect against disease is to build a resilient, government controlled, and funded health service. The World Health Organisation estimates that Universal Health Coverage would stop one hundred million people a year from falling into poverty.

Labour will establish a global Centre for Universal Health Coverage. It will provide global partnerships, technical support and funding to countries that want to provide free healthcare.

I believe the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the set of global targets and principles that will replace the Millennium Development Goals later this year – offer the best opportunity to address child deaths and other vital development issues. Mary Creagh, Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary emphasised the SDGs are a priority.

The UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group has now proposed 17 suggestions for the future SDGs, among which is a target to ‘end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children’ by 2030. I hope that in the coming months the UK Government will play a leading role in negotiations to finalise the SDGs.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views. I hope this letter outlines my support for pursuing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that addresses preventable child deaths and improves child healthcare.