Bread for the World Applauds New U.S. Commitments to Scaling up Nutrition at London Nutrition for Growth Conference

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today in London, the British government, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and the Government of Brazil co-hosted a summit on global nutrition called, "Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science." At this high-level meeting, global experts and leaders announced financial commitments and specific targets to end malnutrition.

"Since 2009 the international community has acted on new knowledge on the devastating impact of malnutrition in the critical 1,000 days between pregnancy and age two," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Consensus on evidence-based cost-effective interventions has spurred action and achieved tremendous results thus far."

In 2010, the United States and Ireland launched the 1,000 Days Partnership to help jump start the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. Forty countries have now joined the movement—many developing national nutrition plans to guide their efforts. Earlier this week, nutrition experts from around the world met in London to launch the British medical journal,  The Lancet's "2013 Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition." The series updates and adds to the evidence base; most significantly it revealed that malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all child deaths each year. This underscores the urgency of additional resources and continued political will.

At today's summit in London, world leaders committed $4.15 billion to scale up direct nutrition interventions and an additional $19bn for nutrition sensitive programs in agriculture and other sectors. The United States Government, represented at the summit by United States Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, announced a significant scale up of resources for nutrition over the last few years and committed to maintaining this higher level of funding to support countries that are scaling up nutrition. The United States joined world leaders in committing to specific targets including reaching 500 million pregnant women and young children with the right nutrients; reducing the number of children under five who are stunted by an additional 20 million and saving the lives of nearly 2 million by 2020.

"In this fiscal environment, we are delighted by the strong U.S. and global commitment to this effort," added Beckmann. "However, it is important that we continue to dedicate and increase funds to reducing malnutrition in this critical 1,000-day window and work with policymakers on a strategy to ensure that the money achieves the targets agreed to today."

On Monday, June 10, Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide U.S. will host an event in Washington, D.C. called "Sustaining Political Commitments to Scaling Up Nutrition" to celebrate progress made over the last 1,000 days and look ahead to the possibilities and opportunities to accelerate progress towards a world free of malnutrition.

The international meeting coincides with Bread for the World's 2013 National Gathering, June 8-11 and will take place at the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The schedule for the meeting can be found here. Media are asked to register for the event at http://www.cvent.com/d/fcq6mz/4W.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World



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