EU hands Liberia 42 mn euros to cut maternal mortality

The European Commission on Thursday pledged 42 million euros to Liberia's president and Nobel peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to help halve one of the world's highest maternal mortality rates.

With 770 women per 100,000 dying due to causes linked to childbirth, Liberia has the world's seventh worst maternal mortality rate but hopes to bring it down to 375. Britain in comparison sees 12 such deaths per 100,000 and is in 146th place.

The announcement was made during talks between the Liberian leader and the EU's development commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

Around four women die each day from or pregnancy- related conditions, with only 37 percent of deliveries in health facilities and 46 percent of births attended by trained personnel.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate health centres, provide and train staff.

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