Most Are Far from Reaching Sustainable Development Goals and Have the Greatest Needs in World Bank’s Human Capital Index

WASHINGTON D.C. – Following the GFF replenishment event in November 2018 that raised more than US$1 billion for the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), the GFF announced today that 9 countries—Chad, Ghana, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Tajikistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe—will join the GFF, bringing the total number of GFF-supported countries to 36.

Many Ministers of Finance have recently written to the GFF requesting support to accelerate progress on universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. This new group of GFF countries was identified based on both measures of need and country commitment that have been endorsed by the GFF Investors Group. With this additional group, the 36 GFF countries now cover 67.2% of preventable maternal and child mortality. Moreover, these countries correspond very closely with those requiring the most attention to their human capital outcomes as measured by the World Bank’s Human Capital Index.

The GFF will help empower an additional nine countries to prioritize the health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents within their budgets and to align partners around a country-driven, prioritized investment case to save lives and improve the health and well-being of millions,” said Mariam Claeson, Director of the GFF. “We are grateful to the new GFF-countries for their strong commitment to women, children and adolescents’ health and nutrition, and look forward to collaborating with them to bring high-impact reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition interventions to scale.”

The GFF partnership supports countries in three specific ways: 1) developing an investment case and implementation plan for prioritizing key reforms to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition and a strong primary health care system; 2) strengthening a country-led platform that aligns all key stakeholders around this investment case and uses data to make decisions and create mutual accountability; and 3) mobilizing and coordinating the financial resources needed to accelerate progress for the most vulnerable populations, often in the hardest-to-reach regions.

Since GFF was founded in 2015 by the World Bank, the governments of Canada and Norway, the United Nations and other partners, US$547 million in funding from the GFF Trust Fund has been linked to US$3.82 billion in funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The more than US$1 billion pledged to the GFF Trust Fund in November 2018 and after is expected to link to an additional US$7.5 billion in IDA/IBRD resources for women, children and adolescents’ health and nutrition. With additional funding, the GFF will expand to a total of 50 countries by the end of 2023.

More about the GFF’s country expansion is available here:

About the Global Financing Facility

The Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) is a multi-stakeholder partnership that is helping countries tackle the greatest health and nutrition issues affecting women, children and adolescents. The GFF Trust Fund is supported by the Governments of Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, and the United Kingdom; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Susan T. Buffett Foundation; the European Commission; Laerdal Global Health; and Merck for Mothers. The GFF supports governments to bring partners together around a country-led plan, prioritizing high-impact but underinvested areas of health. The GFF Trust Fund acts as a catalyst for financing, with countries using modest GFF Trust Fund grants to significantly increase their domestic resources alongside the World Bank’s IDA and IBRD financing, aligned external financing, and private sector resources. Each relatively small external investment is multiplied by countries’ own commitments—generating a large return on investment, ultimately saving and improving lives. Learn more: and @theGFF


Christina Nelson, Global Financing Facility, +1 (202) 458-4372,