For Immediate Release
NEW YORK, September 20, 2010 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) announced today $1 million to expand efforts to reduce the growing burden of malnutrition. The announcement will be made today at a historic gathering of the First Ladies of Africa, who convened to declare nutrition as a critical priority for eliminating poverty, improving health and advancing food security in their nations.
“Nutrition is a top priority of both Feed the Future (FTF) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI)," said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. "These investments will help vulnerable families improve the health of their children by giving them access to diversified, quality diets and empowering them to make better informed decisions in areas like water, sanitation, and hygiene. All these combined efforts are focused on the critical 1,000 day window of opportunity from pregnancy to the first 2 years of life."
Undernutrition, one of the world’s most serious human development issues, kills an estimated 3.5 million children annually and causes more than a third of all deaths in children under the age of five. The Lancet estimates that 13 million children are born annually with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) resulting in low birthweight, 112 million are underweight and 178 million children under 5 years suffer from stunting, the vast majority in south-central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, one in four women and children are malnourished. It is a result of insufficient food intake, poor quality diets, inadequate care, and infectious diseases. Poverty and inequity usually are underlying conditions where poor diet and health flourish. Good nutrition in early childhood is essential to achieve one’s full physical and intellectual potential.
On Tuesday, September 21st, GAIN will participate in the“1000 Days to Improve Child Nutrition” event, co-hosted by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, and Micheal Martin T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, on the margins of the Millennium Development Goals Summit. The event will place international attention on child malnutrition, focused on the 1,000-day window of opportunity.
“Eliminating malnutrition for women and children living in extreme poverty isn’t just about providing food. It is about providing the nourishment that supports physical and mental development for people at risk for life-long repercussions of undernourishment,” said Jay Naidoo, Chairperson, GAIN. “GAIN is committed to bringing the distinct resources to the table to enable the game-changing health and economic benefits of nutrition to be realized around the world.”
Specifically, GAIN believes there are four key priorities to ensure success of the 1,000 Days initiative:
- The development of private sector partnerships to improve food access and food quality.
- Facilitating and enabling collaboration between policy makers and leaders in agriculture, nutrition and health to accelerate key health outcomes through nutrition intervention.
- Government support and international aid to create sustainable markets for high quality, nutrient-rich foods that are affordable and accessible around the world.
- Education of communities about nutrition practices, with an emphasis on maternal and childhood nutrition intervention including exclusive breastfeeding.
For further information on USAID programs, call Kimberly Flowers: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-580-5106. For more information on GAIN or to attend the 1000 Days event as a member of the media, please contact Chrissie Marra or Farrah Hamid of MWW Group at 212-704-9727.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: usaid.gov. To read our blog, see blog.usaid.gov.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN was created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. GAIN is a Swiss foundation that mobilizes public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to deliver foods to those people most at risk of malnutrition. GAIN’s innovative partnerships in more than 25 countries are reaching over 200 million people. For more information, please visit: http://www.gainhealth.org/.
Last updated: May 17, 2012