Global Leaders Issue Declaration to End Child Hunger
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Washington, DC, June 10, 2011
More than 350 high-level government officials, leaders of civil society organizations, and activists from around the world will convene in Washington, DC, on June 13 to build political momentum for nutrition efforts that will help save the lives of at least 1 million children annually.
Malnutrition during the 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2 causes irreversible physical and mental stunting in one of three children worldwide. An estimated 3.5 million children die from related causes every year.
To address this, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin launched the 1,000 Days partnership at the U.N. Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010. The partnership now includes more than 100 leaders and experts who aim to rally resources and political commitments to end child malnutrition.
“The U.S. government is proud to join partner nations and organizations to combat undernutrition through the 1,000 days partnership. An investment in nutrition is not just for those who need it today. It is an investment in the future—towards a world in which healthy children grow up to be stronger men and women,” said Maria Otero, U.S. under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs.
1,000 Days supports the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) framework and action plan. Written and endorsed by dozens of international organizations, SUN outlines plans to end child malnutrition in more than a dozen countries with the highest levels of hunger and food insecurity.
“We are fully committed to assisting countries as they scale up nutrition,” said Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. “It is one of our top development priorities and central to our implementation of the president’s Feed the Future and Global Health Initiatives. In Tanzania and Uganda, two Feed the Future focus countries, we have tripled our funding to scale up nutrition and embraced a multi-sector approach that connects agriculture with health and focuses on the 1,000-day window.”
The June 13 event, “1,000 Days to Scale Up Nutrition for Mothers & Children: Building Political Commitment,” organized by Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide, will highlight the role civil society organizations can play in supporting efforts to scale up nutrition programs and efforts globally.
“This meeting will add public and civil society voices to building the political momentum to hasten the end of child malnutrition in the most affected countries of the world,” said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and a 2010 World Food Prize laureate. “The United States and other countries must support foreign assistance programs that reduce extreme poverty and hunger around the world by emphasizing better nutrition for women and children.”
He added that governments of countries struggling with chronic hunger must be the main investors in these efforts, but wealthy nations must also deliver sustained support. Eighty percent of the world’s chronically undernourished children live in just 24 countries in Africa and Asia.
“The stakes are enormous,” said Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, an international nongovernmental organization. “Now that the international nutrition community has accumulated extensive evidence concerning the burden, consequences, and effective interventions related to undernutrition, the time to act is now.
“Meeting participants will urge G-20 leaders—who meet this fall—to fund nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive initiatives in agriculture, health, food security, poverty reduction, social protection, and education,” Arnold continued.
Secretary Clinton will address the June 13 gathering via video, as will Andrew Mitchell, the United Kingdom’s secretary of state for international development. World Bank President Robert Zoellick will deliver the keynote address. U.S. Under Secretary of State Maria Otero will speak, as will U.N. Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition David Nabarro and Irish Hunger Envoy Kevin Farrell. The event will be moderated by Ray Suarez of the PBS NewsHour.
Aside from Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide, support for the meeting has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Irish Aid, the World Bank, Save the Children, Share Our Strength, PepsiCo, Helen Keller International, and the U.K. Department for International Development.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1118
Fito Moreno, Media Relations Specialist, 202-688-1138