WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today in Washington, D.C., United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah reaffirmed the U.S. Government's financial commitment to addressing maternal and child malnutrition and committed to building a partnership with U.S. NGOs to leverage private resources in this fight. The announcement was made at a meeting of global civil society leaders called, "Sustaining Political Commitments to Scaling Up Nutrition," hosted by Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide U.S.
"We are thrilled about the level of political commitment displayed at today's event," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of bread for the World. "We cannot, however, underestimate the importance of civil society and activists in building the political will among elected officials to keep these commitments and ensure lasting change."
At the event, international government representatives, global nutrition experts, activists and civil society leaders assessed progress made since September 2010—nearly 1,000 days ago—when the United States and Ireland launched the 1,000 Days Call to Action and the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, focused on countries with the highest malnutrition rates.
"Today, we have the opportunity to join our voices together-to draw strength from the past 1,000 days and seize the next 1,000 days to achieve progress that was unimaginable in the past," said Dr. Shah. "The vision that guides our mission starts with the people our governments represent and who are reflected in our invaluable civil society partners who have long championed efforts to advance global nutrition."
Today's event comes on the heels of new findings on maternal and child nutrition released Thursday in the Lancet series, and a summit on global nutrition in London called, "Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science," where world leaders committed $4.15 billion to scale up direct nutrition interventions and an additional $19 billion for nutrition-sensitive programs in agriculture and other sectors.
"Here in the United States, that strength of commitment has been matched by organizations like Bread for the World—which has a long history of affecting meaningful change for millions of people across our own country and around the world," added Shah. "Together, you form one of the greatest movements alive today—the fight to make hunger, malnutrition, and extreme poverty permanently a thing of our past."
Dr. Shah also emphasized the importance of food aid in this tight fiscal environment to ensuring that proper nutrition effectively and efficiently meets people in need.
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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