The last weekend of September was the most important in recent years for the international development sector. Whilst the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York was going on, Stars Foundation also made a public commitment to the Every Woman Every Child initiative which was signed on Saturday 26 September, 2015.
Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) is a global movement that mobilises international and national action by governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children.
Since 2010, EWEC has brought together hundreds of partners working in this field, with more than 300 organisations having made commitments to advance the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The strategy lays out a roadmap on how to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children.
Stars' Impact Award programme operates across the one hundred countries with the highest under-five mortality rate as based on the most recent UNICEF statistics. This means our work is aligned with EWEC's focus on countries with a high rate of women's and children's health issues.
The complementary geographical focus puts us in a good position to support the EWEC initiative and make a confident commitment to helping achieve its aims. Stars is also in the position to be able to highlight the value found in collaboration and can contribute richly, through its wide directory of outstanding local organisations, to the convening of different actors within the sector as catalysts for change.
Through the Impact Awards over the next five years, we have made a commitment to the EWEC to support the work of approximately 120 organisations that are responsive to the needs of the communities they serve. Stars will provide approximately US $7million to these organisations in flexible funding and capacity building support so that they are able to direct resources to where the need is greatest.
Now that the SDGs have been ratified, governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector and civil society must begin the work that will determine the success of these ambitious goals. Frameworks such as the EWEC provide a powerful means of mobilising groups and focusing attention, reminding us that we are all in it together, and that only by acknowledging this will we succeed.