For Immediate Release
International Meeting Aims to Improve Nutrition for Women and Children
WASHINGTON - Bread for the World and Ireland’s Concern Worldwide will host an international meeting with representatives from developing countries to build political support for global efforts to improve nutrition among mothers and children. The meeting will take place Monday, June 13, 2011, at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, DC.
“As Mother’s Day nears, we must remember the critical role that women play in the health and well-being of their families—starting with nutrition,” said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute. “Yet around the world women account for seven out of 10 hungry people. Women in developing countries die in childbirth at unacceptable rates. Malnourished mothers give birth to malnourished babies, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.”
Nongovernmental organization leaders, nutrition experts, and decision makers from nearly 20 developing countries—including Bangladesh, Niger, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia—have been invited to share strategies, success stories and challenges in addressing malnutrition in their countries. High-level leaders from the Obama administration and international development organizations are also expected to participate in the meeting.
Malnutrition damages a child’s growth and development—when it occurs during his or her first 1,000 days (from pregnancy to age 2), the damage is largely irreversible. Ninety percent of the developing world’s chronically undernourished children live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 80 percent of the developing world’s undernourished children live in just 24 countries.
During the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin launched the “1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future” call to action. At the event, David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, and Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, committed to hosting a follow-up meeting in June 2011.
The international meeting—which takes place during Bread for the World’s National Gathering 2011—serves to organize a voice for civil society and build momentum for this global campaign that focuses on the right nutrition for mothers and children during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
“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,” said Lateef.
For more information about the meeting and to register for Bread for the World’s National Gathering 2011, please visit www.bread.org/event/gathering-2011/.
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