Global Leaders Push to Sustain Political Commitment for Maternal and Child Nutrition Efforts
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World Institute and Concern Worldwide U.S. will host an international meeting for civil society leaders on maternal and child nutrition on Monday, June 10, 2013 in Washington, D.C. This meeting will garner political support for commitments made at "Nutrition for Growth," a pledge conference to be held in London on June 8. Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will serve as the keynote speaker for the international meeting.
"Malnutrition during this critical stage has irreversible and damaging effects on a child's growth and development," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "We are thrilled that USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will join us in reaffirming our commitment to defeating this scourge."
The call to action "1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future" was launched by the governments of the United States and Ireland during the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2010. The launch of the 1,000 Days Partnership coincided with that of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, a global effort to mobilize collective action on nutrition. Nine months after the launch, in June 2011, Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide U.S. hosted an international meeting to build on the political momentum and to elevate maternal and child nutrition on the global agenda. That meeting focused on the crucial role of civil society within countries with high malnutrition rates.
"This is a moment to renew the call first made by the U.S. and Ireland 1,000 days ago," said Dr. Joseph Cahalan, CEO of Concern Worldwide U.S. "The challenge now is the 1,000 days ahead of us. We have the knowledge, resources, and political and grassroots momentum to make an even greater impact, but to do so, the international community must continue to prioritize and work together in the fight against child hunger and this summit is an important part of that process."
Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide U.S. are joining resources again to host the June 10, 2013, international meeting, "Sustaining Political Commitment to Scaling Up Nutrition," near the culmination of the first 1,000 Days.
The meeting will increase political momentum around commitments made at the June 8 event in London. It will also serve to renew and strengthen the call to action for the Next 1,000 Days, encouraging the continued involvement of civil society in eliminating malnutrition.
"It speaks volumes that 35 countries have joined the movement to Scale Up Nutrition thus far—countries that are home to 71 million stunted children, representing 42 percent of the world's stunted population," said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute. "The Next 1,000 Days offer a tremendous opportunity to map out a sustainable plan to ensure women and children around the world receive the proper nutrition during the first thousand days of life."
Leaders from nongovernmental organizations, nutrition experts, and decision makers from developing countries have been invited to share strategies, success stories, and challenges in eliminating malnutrition in their countries. High-level leaders from the U.S. government and international development organizations are also expected to participate. Partners to date include the 1,000 Days Partnership, Helen Keller International, RESULTS, Save the Children, World Food Program USA, and World Vision.
For more information on the International Meeting please visit http://www.bread.org/event/gathering-2013/international-meeting/.
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. It is based in Washington, DC.
Concern Worldwide U.S. (www.concernusa.org) is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to reducing extreme poverty, with nearly 3,000 personnel working in 25 of the world's poorest countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Concern Worldwide targets the root causes of extreme poverty through programs in health, education, livelihoods and microfinance, HIV and AIDS, and emergency response, directly reaching more than 6.9 million people.
SOURCE Bread for the World