Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello T.D., today announced €3 million in funding to tackle hunger among pregnant women and babies in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Announcing the funding in New York, where Minister Costello is attending international meetings on the global fight against poverty and hunger, Minister Costello said:
“The message is simple: The 1,000 days between the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday is the most critical period in that child’s development. A nutritious diet during this window empowers children to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty. This is a unique opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous societies.”
The funding will be used to increase vulnerable families’ access to nutritious foods, to boost agricultural productivity and to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and good early nutrition.
Minister Costello said: “Every year, 3.1 million children die from under-nutrition. Today, 165 million children are chronically malnourished, with devastating consequences for their long-term health. By investing in child nutrition we will ease suffering, reduce deaths and cap this terrible drain on human and economic potential.”
Ireland has been at the forefront of efforts to increase international investment in childhood nutrition during the 1,000-day window. In 2010, Ireland and the US launched a global partnership to improve mother and child nutrition, Scaling up Nutrition. Later today (Monday), Minister Costello, together with US counterparts will issue a fresh call for countries who have committed to increasing their focus on childhood nutrition to deliver on their commitments.
Minister Costello said: “In 2010, Ireland and the US drew global attention to the importance of good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s development. We have seen great progress in many countries, but today we are urging governments, businesses, organizations and individuals to ensure that every child, everywhere, has the right nutrition to reach their full potential”
23 September 2013
Note to editors:
Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
41 countries have signed on to the SUN Movement; Ireland leads on donor coordination in three countries – Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
For more on the Scaling up Nutrition Movement go to www.scalingupnutrition.org; facebook.com/SUNMovement; @SUN_Movement