The Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund (MHTF) is UNFPA’s flagship programme for improving maternal and newborn health and well-being. Launched in 2008 to boost global funding and attention to maternal health, the MHTF is now entering its third phase, from 2018 to 2022, after having completed Phase I (2008-2013) and Phase II (2014-2017).
UNFPA estimates that through 2017 the MHTF contributed to averting an estimated 119,127 maternal deaths through strategic interventions in 39 countries with some of the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the world.
The MHTF promotes evidence-based interventions, policies and technical guidance to improve maternal and newborn health in 32 countries with high maternal and neonatal mortality rates during its third phase (2018-2022).
One key focus has been the training of thousands of midwives each year who, in turn, can care for millions of women annually. As of 2017, 85,000 midwives were trained and over 550 midwifery schools and training institutions were strengthened. The Fund also contributed to over 95,000 obstetric fistula repairs.