Mega-Commitment Partners Deworm 20 Million School Age Children in 2009: AIR, Deworm the World, Feed The Children, the World Food Programme Exceed Their CGI Commitment Target in Year One Two-fold

NEW YORK, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- CGI education mega-commitment partners will reach 20 million school-age children across 26 countries in 2009, exceeding the original commitment target for year one of 10 million children in 19 countries.

A chronic condition, parasitic worms affect over 400 million school-age children worldwide, harming their health, nutrition and cognitive development, and threatening their educational access and learning.

Mass school-based deworming is a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. At a cost of less than $0.50 per child per year, deworming can reduce school absenteeism by 25% and is one of the most cost-effective methods of improving school participation ever rigorously evaluated. An education policy priority, deworming is a crucial step towards achieving universal primary education and improving children's long-term productivity.

These CGI partners support and advocate for government action leading to the development of strategically targeted, sustainable, school-based deworming programs, focusing on the at-risk school-age populations in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With additional funding, coverage will be increased to reach 75 million children over three years.

If there are any "silver bullets" or "best buys" for the education sector, then deworming is surely one.

Contact: Lesley Drake, Deworm the World Executive Director, Tel: +1 202 531 0848, lesley.drake@dewormtheworld.org.

About American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., AIR is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. AIR reaffirms its commitment to house Deworm the World's secretariat through 2011, and provide key technical assistance to support country programs as necessary and appropriate. For more information, visit www.air.org.

About Deworm the World (DtW)

Launched by the Education Task Force of the Young Global Leaders at the 2007 World Economic Forum at Davos, DtW is a coalition of partners working to improve access to education through supporting, coordinating, and advocating for school-based deworming programs. DtW coordinates the provision of technical, financial, and political support to identify and remove barriers to the effective implementation of school-based deworming programs. Working closely with governments and local development partners, DtW also provides operational and technical assistance to scale up sustainable, systematic deworming activities through school health programs. For more information, visit www.dewormtheworld.org.

About Feed The Children (FTC)

Founded in 1979 by Larry and Frances Jones, FTC is consistently ranked as one of the 10 largest international charities in the U.S., based on private, non-government support. FTC is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters. Since its founding, the organization has reached out to help those in need in the US and in 118 countries around the globe. As part of the 2008 CGI commitment, FTC has committed 300 million deworming tablets to treat soil transmitted helminths over three years. For more information, visit www.feedthechildren.org.

About the World Food Programme (WFP)

The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Born in 1962, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. In 2009, WFP is continuing to scale up deworming in its school-feeding programs in areas where parasitic worms are a problem, and increasing coverage to treat an additional two million children in 12 more countries. For more information, please visit www.wfp.org.

SOURCE American Institutes for Research



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