Village Safe Motherhood Committees are educating women about proper care and nutrition for babies, as well as how to access health services.

As part of the project women and adolescent girls will be empowered to make decisions for their own and their children’s health (Photo: Paul Jeffrey)

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) announced that Presbyterian World Service & Development, the development and relief agency of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, will receive up to $4.1 million in a joint commitment to save lives and improve the health of women and children in Afghanistan and Malawi.

PWS&D’s approved project addresses sexual and reproductive health issues, as well as access to appropriate maternal and child health services in Afghanistan and Malawi.

This program builds on the successes of PWS&D’s previous maternal and child health project, implemented with $1.5 million in support from the Canadian government’s Muskoka Initiative.

The new program will help improve the quality and supply of health services by building the skills of health care workers, as well as ensuring that facilities have the necessary tools. In the two countries, PWS&D will also be working to increase demand for health services and empowering women and adolescent girls to make decisions for their own and their children’s health. Enhancing community participation in sexual and reproductive health and changing behaviours that put women and adolescent girls at risk are also critical components of the program.

PWS&D partners—Community World Service-Asia (formerly Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan), Mulanje Mission Hospital and the Livingstonia Synod Health Department (through the Embangweni Mission Hospital)—will be implementing the projects in Afghanistan and Malawi, respectively.

The government funds will be used along with generous contributions from individuals and congregations across Canada to continue PWS&D’s vision of a sustainable, compassionate and just world.

For more information, visit the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website.