The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced plans to invest more than $45 million over three years in support of ongoing efforts in Burkina Faso to improve nutrition and the health of women and children in the West African country.
Announced by Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates during a visit to the country's capital, Ouagadougou, the investment includes $34 million for government programs aimed at reducing childhood stunting by half by 2020. Another $10 million will support family planning programs aimed at helping women plan and space their pregnancies.
In addition, as part of a $15 million regional funding initiative that includes Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo, the foundation will match every dollar invested by the government of Burkina Faso in 2018 in the purchase of contraceptives. Investments by the foundation also will support higher-quality and more timely data collection, enabling partners to measure progress on family planning and nutrition initiatives, design more effective programs, and pinpoint areas of greatest need.
"Burkina Faso has made significant progress against poverty, hunger, and poor health in the face of big challenges and is inspiring other countries in the region to do the same. This progress is no coincidence — it takes leadership," said Gates. "There is enormous opportunity ahead. If countries like Burkina Faso continue to increase their investments in health and development, then unprecedented progress is possible — and every woman, man, and child in this country will benefit."