New Canadian NGO partnership to improve nutrition services in Africa & Asia

World Vision teams up with Micronutrient Initiative to reduce newborn and maternal mortality

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 8, 2015 /CNW/ - With funding announced today from the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), World Vision is leading a group of Canadian development organizations in a new $41.5 million project to improve nutrition in five countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar (Burma).

The ENRICH project (Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health) will leverage the expertise of the Micronutrient Initiative, HarvestPlus, the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and The Hospital for Sick Children. Together with World Vision, these organizations will offer a full package of nutrition programs to help reduce maternal and newborn mortality, stunting and wasting in children, and break families out of the cycle of poverty.

THE ENRICH PROJECT WILL

  • Increase the availability and diversity of nutrient-dense foods, through bio-fortified crops, kitchen gardens, and micronutrient powders added to foods;
  • Promote consumption of local, culturally-appropriate foods;
  • Help communities overcome cultural barriers that undermine access to healthy food for women and young children;
  • Teach families ways to keep women and young children well nourished, especially during the 1,000 days between conception and two years of age;
  • Train local health officials/staff to better understand the problems of malnutrition;
  • Improve how health clinics deliver nutrition services such as counselling on breastfeeding and treatment of malnutrition;
  • Influence local governments to improve health and nutrition policies.
  • Provide local women with mentorship opportunities with leading female Canadian experts/advocates.

FACTS

  • Almost half of all global deaths in children under the age of five have malnutrition as an underlying cause
  • Almost three million children die every year from causes related to malnutrition
  • More than 160 million young children are stunted (short for their age) due to malnutrition
  • A child who gets enough healthy food before turning two finishes at least four more grades of school and is 33% more likely to escape poverty as an adult.

QUOTES

"World Vision is grateful for the generous support from the Government of Canada, and we are excited to be working in partnership with other Canadian development organizations. Good nutrition is key to the health and development of children and communities. A lack of healthy food can hinder a child's brain development, delay motor skills, and slow down physical growth. Malnutrition jeopardizes education and can lead to a challenging future for a child," says Michael Messenger, President, World Vision Canada.

"Development efforts face an uphill battle when populations are burdened by malnutrition, especially the most vulnerable. Canada's investments in maternal, newborn and child health have led the world in reducing preventable deaths, especially its commitment to nutrition. The ENRICH Project is a further commitment by Canada to helping families realize their full potential. We are pleased to be joining with World Vision and our other partners on this important nutrition project. With strong partnership from leading organizations, this project will bring the best of each to the table so we will have a greater impact on those who need access to good nutrition the most," says Joel Spicer, President, Micronutrient Initiative. 

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: to book interviews contact: Britt Hamilton: 416-419-1321, britt_hamilton@worldvision.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.worldvision.ca

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