Development agency makes announcement as global leaders converge in London for Nutrition for Growth
OTTAWA, June 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Globally, international aid and development organization World Vision is today announcing a US$1.2 billion package of measures to combat childhood undernutrition, challenging governments - especially those from G8 countries - to match this commitment as they meet in London today at the Nutrition for Growth Event.
"To date, Canada has been the global leader in support of basic nutrition - both in absolute terms and as a percentage of Canada's total development budget. This leadership has been critical in reducing child deaths," said Wendy Therrien, World Vision Canada's policy director. "But there's more work to be done. More than 60 per cent of the world's undernourished children live in fragile and conflicted states, like the DRC and Afghanistan. Canada must continue leading the charge on nutrition funding and reach these children."
World Vision's new report Fragile But Not Helpless found that security concerns and funding in fragile countries like the DRC are undermining donor countries from implementing enough of the simple nutrition interventions that have been proven to work. The research shows that ending child undernutrition in fragile and conflict-affected states is possible, but for this to become a reality, far greater commitment is needed.
Comments from World Vision Canada and World Vision Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):
"Without the right nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life, children's futures are permanently affected. Their brains and muscles fail to develop, leaving them stunted for life. Yet very simple interventions like adding iodine to the water supply or providing vitamin A supplements can secure a decent future for children," said Therrien.
"I have seen at first-hand what chronic malnutrition does to children and it is heart-breaking. In the DRC, 43 per cent of children under five suffer from chronic undernourishment, and we believe governments need to do more to tackle this," said Aimee Manimani of World Vision Democratic Republic of Congo who is in London for the Nutrition for Growth Event to ensure the message is heard.
Stats and facts:
- Globally, significant progress has been made in reducing child mortality; since 1990 the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has nearly halved. But there's been less progress in improving children's nutrition with undernutrition contributing to the deaths of more than three million children every year - 45% of deaths of children under age five.
- Globally, 165 million children, or one in four of all children, under age five are stunted due to chronic undernourishment and at risk of permanent damage to their mental and physical development.
- Improving child nutrition is a top priority for World Vision. Since 2008, it has been rolling out nutrition and health interventions across its global programming, with $158 million spent on nutrition-focused programming and advocacy in 2012 alone.
- Infographic drawing a picture of health in fragile states: Fragile countries, fragile lives
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
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Tiffany Baggetta - 416-305-9612 [email protected]