Use of Crowdfunding to Finance Maternal and Neonatal Health: Financing for Development Receives $200,000 Innovation Fund Grant

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Funding to support partnership with Kangu.org to crowdfund safe childbirth in Latin America

Financing for Development, Kangu, and RHSC partner for safe births in LAC.

Financing for Development, Kangu, and RHSC partner for safe births in LAC.

The grant to F4D supports expansion work with Kangu, the first crowdfunding site for safe births, to launch new service delivery partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean that target maternal and neonatal mortality.

Last week, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) announced a $200,000 Innovation Fund grant to Financing for Development (F4D). The grant aims to increase equity and access to healthcare supplies and services in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Coalition’s Market Development Approaches Working Group.

The grant to F4D supports expansion work with Kangu, the first crowdfunding site for safe births, to launch new service delivery partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean that target maternal and neonatal mortality. Despite the region’s growing wealth, over 9,000 women and 45,000 newborns continue to die each year from easily preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

“Too many expectant mothers in the region deliver without a skilled attendant or in facilities that lack quality standards, supplies and emergency services,” said Casey Santiago, CEO of Kangu.org. “The vast majority of deaths and injuries can simply be averted if mom and baby have access to basic healthcare services.”

Kangu’s crowdfunding technology makes it possible for individuals to donate $10 or more to fund the costs of those services. Kangu supports a full continuum of maternal and newborn care, including healthcare during the fragile delivery period, which has been proven to significantly reduce death and disability.

“By applying a technology-powered financing model to maternal and neonatal healthcare, this project will unlock much-needed funds in the region and deploy them efficiently to high-impact healthcare providers.” said Aron Betru, Managing Director of F4D. “By partnering with Kangu, we are supporting yet another innovative financing mechanism to address systemic market failures and to engage multiple sectors in this effort.”

By providing a new channel for funds to be targeted to where they are most needed, F4D and Kangu seek to mobilize a community of individual and corporate donors in order to decrease maternal and neonatal mortality. “As a coalition of 300 public, private, and non-governmental organizations, we are very pleased to support this multi-sectoral effort to expand access to healthcare supplies and services where it is most needed in the region,” said Coalition Director John Skibiak. “The focus on Latin America and the Caribbean enables us to spotlight the growing inequities as well as the opportunities for impact that still exist.”

In partnership with the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, and specifically the Market Development Approaches Working Group, F4D and Kangu anticipate that pilot locations will begin accepting donations and expanding access for expectant mothers as early as October 2014. Kangu is the second innovative financing mechanism supported by Financing for Development alongside its flagship program, Pledge Guarantee for Health.

For more information, please visit http://www.financing4development.org and http://www.kangu.org.

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About Financing for Development
Financing for Development (F4D) promotes innovative financing as a means of increasing efficiency of international development aid. F4D advocates for, evaluates, and executes innovative financing techniques used to make donor and domestic funding levels more predictable and efficient. Using innovative techniques executed through its subsidiaries, F4D seeks to aide developing countries in increasing the impact of overseas development aid.

About Kangu
Kangu is an online crowdfunding platform for safe births. Kangu connects people to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths. At http://www.kangu.org, you can fund a pregnant woman’s access to clean, life-saving healthcare services. “Crowdfunding” refers to technology that enables many individuals to come together online to jointly fund something they all believe in. “Safe birth” services refer to healthcare services (before, during and after delivery) that have been proven to save the lives of pregnant women and newborn babies.

About the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition
The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition is a global partnership of public, private, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to ensuring that all people in low- and middle-income countries can access and use affordable, high-quality supplies to ensure their better reproductive health. The Coalition brings together diverse agencies and groups with critical roles in providing contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies. These include multilateral and bilateral organizations, private foundations, governments, civil society, and private-sector representatives. The Innovation Fund is the Coalition’s flagship initiative for inspiring and financing new activities that further the Coalition’s strategic goals and those of its Implementing Mechanisms.

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Paige Robson
Financing for Development (F4D)
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