To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the finding of the 2018 ICAI report that the Department for International Development's policies focused on family planning rather than strengthening health systems to provide good quality maternal care, what steps his Department has taken to prioritise quality maternal care since that report was published.
The UK has a strong track record of investment in maternal and newborn health through strengthening health systems, alongside other essential services, including family planning. Since the 2018 ICAI report, we have taken a series of steps to improve our approach, embedding a focus on quality, respectful maternity care. These were recognised and commended by ICAI in their 2020 follow-up review.
The UK Government has a manifesto commitment on ending the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children by 2030. We have invested in staff knowledge and skills, and are supporting our partners, including the World Health Organisation, to promote, deliver, and measure quality maternal health care. We support the Global Financing Facility for women, children, and adolescent health in its efforts to strengthen quality and sustainability of services in 36 countries. This action is more important than ever given the negative indirect impacts of COVID-19, which is reducing access to maternity care, and other essential health services.