United States and South Korea Cooperate to Help End Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 15, 2015 — – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support partner organizations in their efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths in support of the objectives of the Government of Ethiopia’s new Health Sector Transformation Plan.
Through this new agreement, KOICA will provide $5 million to directly support USAID’s Transform activities to achieve four key objectives over the next five years: 1) Increased numbers of healthy mothers and successful birth outcomes; 2) Expanded access to, acceptance and application of family planning; 3) Increased numbers of healthy newborns (birth to 28 days); and 4) Sustained gains in decreasing mortality for children under five years of age.
The $5 million investment builds on previous USAID – KOICA cooperation and marks the Republic of Korea’s largest ever commitment to supporting the development objectives of USAID anywhere in the world. To mark this landmark agreement, the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Moon-hwan Kim joined U.S. Ambassador Patricia Haslach to witness the signing of the MOU.
USAID and KOICA have been cooperating in Ethiopia since 2013 to support the Ethiopian Ministry of Health’s efforts to address the causes of preventable child and maternal deaths in Ethiopia. During the last two years, KOICA has supported the scaling up of youth-friendly reproductive health services in USAID-focus woredas. KOICA has also actively been coordinating its efforts with USAID to improve tuberculosis identification, treatment, and prevention in urban areas of Ethiopia where TB infections are often most prevalent.
Through this cooperation, KOICA and USAID will strengthen their support to the implementation of the Government of Ethiopia’s ambitious and ground-breaking Health Sector Transformation Plan.
Praising Ethiopia’s “great achievements in maternal and child health,” His Excellency Moon-hwan Kim emphasized the commitment of both countries to ending preventable child and maternal deaths noting, ”When KOICA and USAID first signed an MOU to cooperate in Ethiopia on maternal and child health, it was the first agreement of its kind for KOICA globally. The amount we’re committing through this new MOU makes it the largest contribution of its kind yet for KOICA. The success of this project will be a model case for KOICA to learn USAID’s capacity and hands on experience in comprehensive aspect including designing, management, communication, health sector expertise, monitoring and evaluation on the project.”
KOICA, which opened its first office in Africa in 1995, works on development issues related to health, education and agriculture. USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.