NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a massive attempt to tackle global hunger, leading U.S.-based international NGOs will spend more than $1 billion in private funds over the next three years on agriculture, food and nutrition programs, announced U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and NGO alliance InterAction on Thursday.
"InterAction's members are at the forefront of the global fight against hunger and poor nutrition. They work alongside local communities to help people become more self-sufficient. Their efforts complement U.S. government programs, such as Feed the Future," said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction.
Worthington was speaking on Thursday at an event held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Clinton praised the work of civil society organizations, including members of InterAction.
Clinton said: "Today, I am pleased to announce a new commitment by civil society groups. InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S.-based organizations—and Sam Worthington, its president, is here today—is pledging more than $1 billion of private, non-governmental funds over the next three years to improve food security and nutrition worldwide.
"Of this $1 billion, five U.S.-based organizations together have pledged to invest more than $900 million in this effort. They are World Vision, Heifer International, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and ChildFund International. Let's give all five of these great organizations a round of applause.
"And just as these organizations hold governments accountable, they have agreed to be held accountable themselves. Starting in 2013, InterAction will make annual reports here at the UN General Assembly on its commitments and disbursements worldwide. And I am so grateful to InterAction and its members for their outstanding support and generosity."
InterAction members assist thousands of smallholder farmers, many of them women. By providing communities with the skills and tools, farmers are able to raise healthier livestock and grow more nutritious crops—which benefit the whole community. A particular emphasis of these efforts is better, more reliable nutrition for children.
Hunger and poor nutrition are the world's number one health risks. More than one in seven people in the world go to bed hungry every night and one in four children in developing countries are underweight. Moreover, undernutrition contributes every year to the deaths of 5 million children under the age of 5 in developing countries.
"Global hunger is one of the most serious challenges facing our generation, but a strong commitment by organizations such as our members and the political will of governments can make a huge difference in tackling this problem," said Worthington.
"NGOs' private resources and strong local links complement the efforts of the U.S. government and others to meet development goals worldwide," said Worthington.
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.