'The Time Is Now': G8 Must Act to Save Millions of Lives

May 16, 2012, 08:00 ET from Concern Worldwide US

Concern Worldwide Calls on G8 to Renew Commitment to Food Security and Nutrition

NEW YORK, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the G8's 2009 $22-billion commitment to food security ("The L'Aquila Food Security Initiative") expires this year, Concern Worldwide calls on G8 members in a paper launched today to renew and scale up their commitment to food security and nutrition and make malnutrition history. Entitled "The Time is Now: The G8's Opportunity to Make Undernutrition History," Concern's paper lays out the opportunity before the G8 member nations at this week's Camp David summit.

The paper (http://www.concernusa.org/g8report/) further outlines how G8 members have been slow to fulfill their 2009 pledges to tackle hunger, which could put millions of lives at risk of malnutrition, a reality that only heightens the need for re-commitment.

"At a time when nearly one billion people are threatened by food insecurity, there is frankly too much at stake for the G8 to fall short on what it promised the world in 2009 at L'Aquila," said Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization. "We have the knowledge, evidence, and political and grassroots support to make malnutrition history, but we need sustained investment to do so, starting with a bold, decisive commitment from G8 members."

The paper also details recommendations to the G8 – three approaches that will help ensure that investments in nutrition and food security can have maximum impact on the ground. Among the recommendations are: funding that supports small-scale women farmers; building hunger-sensitive safety nets for the poorest; and scaling up nutrition during the critical 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child's second birthday in which permanent cognitive and physical damage can occur if he or she is undernourished.

In addition to today's publication of "The Time Is Now," Concern Worldwide will be co-hosting two events around the 2012 G8 summit. The first is a high-level briefing on Thursday, May 17 in Washington, D.C. that will connect senior representatives from the U.S. government, United Nations, World Bank, and NGOs to build support for scaling up nutrition, particularly during the 1,000-day window. The second is on Monday, May 21 in Chicago and will bring together leaders from the business, foundation, academic, government, and non-profit communities to harness international support to make malnutrition history.  Mr. Arnold will also join President Barack Obama as a speaker at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Third Annual Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security on May 18 in Washington, D.C.

A global leader in food security and nutrition, Concern has worked on the frontlines of the world's worst nutrition crises and is directly implementing life-saving nutrition, food security, and health programs in 25 countries.

About Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide is an international, non-governmental humanitarian organization dedicated to reducing extreme poverty, with more than 3,200 personnel working in 25 of the 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 9.5 million people. For more information, visit www.concernusa.org or follow us on Twitter at @Concern.

For more information, please contact:
Crystal Wells
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SOURCE Concern Worldwide US