The UN has launched a $40bn (£25.5bn) health initiative aimed at saving the lives of 16 million women and children over the next five years.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said women and children “play a crucial role in development”.
About eight million under-fives die every year and more than a third of a million women lose their lives during pregnancy or childbirth.
Funds for the plan have been pledged by governments and private aid groups.
Mr Ban announced the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health in New York, where some 140 world leaders are meeting to discuss progress towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).