The Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the government of Spain and the IDB, launch the Mesoamerica Health 2015 Initiative. The aim of this Initiative is to reduce the gap in health equality faced by the poorest 20% of population living in Central America and Southern Mexico.

The Mesoamerica Health 2015 Initiative is launched with contributions amounting to US$150 million

Mexico City, June 14, 2010.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Health Institute of the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Government of Spain and the Inter-American Development Bank have jointly launched the “Mesoamerica Health 2015” Initiative (SM2015).  The aim of the Initiative is to reduce the gap in health equality faced by the poorest 20% of population living in Central America and Southern Mexico.  The Initiative also aims to support the efforts of the region’s governments to attain the Millennium Development Goals in health matters.

Mesoamerica Health 2015, a five-year project that will conclude in 2015, aims to benefit the poorest sectors of the region’s population, most notably women and children with limited access to efficient health services.  The Initiative will finance projects in reproductive health, maternal and neonatal health, maternal and child nutrition, vaccines, prevention and control of malaria and dengue fever.

The Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Health Institute and the Government of Spain will contribute each with US$ 50 million.  The IDB will be the implementing agency that will work together with the region’s governments and prepare, implement and control all projects financed by the Initiative, requesting independent evaluations when needed.  IDB will also administer the combined donor contributions amounting to US$150 million.

The Initiative was officially launched today by Bill Gates, Co-president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carlos Slim Helú, President of the Carlos Slim Foundation, HRH the Infanta Cristina of Spain, accompanied by Trinidad Jiménez the Spanish Minister of Health, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno.  The event was organized by the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.

Mesoamerica Health 2015 will work in partnership with the health ministries of the Mesoamerican countries and in close coordination with the Mesoamerican Public Health System that is part of the regional integration platform known as Mesoamerican Project.

In contrast to other international programs, countries participating in SM2015 are not competing for resources since the Initiative provides for a 5-year allocation to each country, on the basis of its health inequality and poverty index.  Moreover, national governments will determine which projects qualify for funding under the areas identified by the Initiative. Expected results include an important reduction in the mortality rates of children under 5 years of age.  The Initiative also seeks to reduce chronic malnutrition and the lack of micronutrients in infants and pregnant women. It will support critical interventions to improve childbirth and foster conditions to allow better growth perspectives in the future.  The Initiative aims to have a direct impact in poor communities regarding the coverage and quality of child vaccination, pre and post-natal care and access to family planning, among other services.

Mesoamerica Health 2015 is based on an operational model that impacts health supply, improving the coverage and quality of basic health services, and health demand, promoting the use of health services and the adoption of healthier behaviors in the poorest households.  The specific components of the program are:  an innovative result driven financing model; incentives for a more equitable allocation of resources and the drafting of health policies based on evidence.

A project office will operate from the IDB representative offices in Panama and will be responsible of coordinating the implementation of operations funded by the Initiative.

It is expected that Mesoamerica Health 2015 will generate globally recognized findings on how to implement these policies on a scale pertinent to poor communities.  Furthermore, the Initiative will mobilize further funding from public and private sources.

Partners

Carlos Slim Health Institute
The Carlos Slim Health Institute was created in 2007 and is part of the CARLOS SLIM FOUNDATION established 24 years ago.  The Institute aims to develop and finance programs that contribute to reduce the main health problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an innovative and humanitarian stance and a particular concern for populations most in need.  Further information: www.salud.carlosslim.org

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that all lives are of equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strives to help all persons to live healthy and productive lives.  Its work in developing countries focuses on improving health conditions and giving opportunities for people to escape hunger and extreme poverty.  In the United States, the Foundation seeks to guarantee that every person, mainly those with lower income, has access to opportunities enabling progress in school and life.  Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the Foundation is managed by Jeff Raikes, Executive Director, and Co-President William H. Gates Sr., under the leadership of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Spanish Cooperation (Government of Spain)
The goal of the Spanish Cooperation is to fight against poverty and attain sustainable human development in developing countries.  In order to achieve its objectives, it encompasses a number of actors and instruments that are organized alongside the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action.  Together, these instruments sum up to a common proposal in the fight against poverty.  Regarding the Mesoamerica Health 2015 program, participating governmental entities include the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of External Affairs and Cooperation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Inter-American Development Bank
The IDB supports the efforts of Latin American and Caribbean countries in their fight against poverty and inequalities.  Our aim is to attain development in a sustainable manner respectful of the environment.  IDB is the major source of development funding in the region, with a solid commitment to reach measurable impacts, with more integrity, transparency and accountability.



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