MI and CESO announce partnership agreement during International Development Week at McGill University

MONTREAL, Feb. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) and the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) celebrated International Development Week by signing a partnership agreement, which will see more CESO volunteers enhance capacity and provide on-site support to MI projects around the world

"MI is proud to announce our partnership with CESO," said Chris Dendys, MI Director of External Relations. "Canada's investments in global nutrition, including support to MI, are making a difference for the world's most vulnerable. Partnering with CESO, which has lent us additional Canadian expertise, is allowing us to boost our nutritional impact."

In 2013, CESO volunteer Pierre Rivard travelled again to an MI Senegal salt iodization project. His mechanical engineering background enabled him to work with local salt processors to successfully find workable solutions for issues around mobile salt iodization machines.

"Our Volunteer Advisors provide mentoring and technical expertise, with the goal of enabling business and communities to achieve their objectives," said CESO President and CEO Wendy Harris. "We are thrilled to be working closer with MI in providing Canadian skills to foster economic health and stability."

MI, through the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and other donors, touches the lives of 500 million people every year through cost-effective programs to address micronutrient deficiencies, including iodine for child development. Iodized salt is a global health success story, reducing preventable mental impairment and increasing intellectual capacity through an everyday consumable, salt. Not only does MI work to improve the intake of iodine throughout the world, the organization also supports local salt producers to adequately iodize their salt and sell a higher quality product.

CESO, a Canadian NGO, maintains a roster of over 700 highly-skilled advisors from the Canadian public and private sectors who share their knowledge and expertise through projects in developing countries. CESO volunteers provide services that support economic development and institutional strengthening, from strategic planning, accounting and financing to community development and governance. Since 1967, CESO volunteers have completed more than 47,000 assignments focused on creating economic and social opportunities for people around the world.

"Canada is a world leading innovator and projects like this are a greater example of how thinking outside the box can save lives. International Development Week is the perfect time to take stock of the great work Canada does around the world. Our government will continue working with organizations like CESO and MI as we continue to make a real difference for those in need," said Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

The partnership agreement was signed at a public event that included a panel discussion on Canadian partnerships in international development. The event was co-hosted by CESO, MI and McGill's Institute for the Study of International Development in Montreal.

During International Development Week, February 2 to 8, Canadians across the country are involved in events to learn how they are and can make a difference in Canada's efforts to reduce global poverty.

About the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO)
CESO builds stronger economies and better lives for people around the world through the transfer of skills and expertise from Canadian mentors.  For nearly 50 years, CESO Volunteer Advisors, who are unique in their senior level of professional experience, have focused on helping individuals and organizations across Canada and in more than 120 countries build strong, viable businesses and independent communities. Through their mentorship approach and partnership model, CESO's volunteers help to create sustainable change through personal client relationships and the strengthening of local partner institutions. To learn more about CESO's Volunteer Advisors and how their knowledge and skills are supporting inclusive economic growth around the world, visit CESO's website, follow us on Twitter or go to our Facebook page.

About The Micronutrient Initiative (MI)

The Micronutrient Initiative is an Ottawa-based, international not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the world's most vulnerable—especially women and children— in developing countries get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive through supplementation and food fortification programs.  Its mission is to be a global leader in advancing integrated, innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies through advocacy, technical and programmatic support, in collaboration with others. With Canadian support, the organization is saving and improving the lives of 500 million people annually in more than 75 countries with its child survival, child health, growth and development, and women's and newborn survival and health programs. To learn more about micronutrient deficiencies and how MI is working to end hidden hunger, please visit the MI website, follow us on Twitter @micronutrient and go to our Facebook page.

SOURCE CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization)

For further information:

Michael Paskewitz
Public Engagement Officer
Tel: 647-478-4046
mpaskewitz@ceso-saco.com