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Archives for Global Partnerships

Focus on Nutrition: Creating Inclusive Partnerships and Deepening our Knowledge

This originally appeared on DipNote.

Recently, I visited Bangladesh to find out how you feed a country that has half the population of the United States squeezed into an area the size of the state of Iowa. One thing is for certain: no one can do it alone. During my trip, I witnessed how partnerships among a broad range of stakeholders — the Rome-based UN agencies, the Government of Bangladesh, donor countries, civil society and the private sector — are coming together to change the way we address chronic hunger. The U.S. government is supporting partnerships that deliver food, including fortified vegetable oil, in conjunction with health and other interventions that help ensure our programs translate into better nutrition outcomes.

Good nutrition is crucial during the first 1,000 days — from the mother’s pregnancy through the child’s second birthday — because it affects lifelong mental and physical development, IQ, school achievement, and, ultimately, work capacity and income generation. Thus, nourishing children not only enables individuals to achieve their full potential, but creates the conditions for nations to grow and prosper. This is one of the reasons why nutrition is the critical link between Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative, the game-changing Presidential initiatives that address global hunger and maternal and child health as part of a broader strategy to drive sustainable and broad-based growth.

We know that we have to look at child malnutrition in new ways to accelerate progress toward the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. We know that better targeting and implementation of nutrition programs can greatly increase the effectiveness of our assistance and, most importantly, the ability of all children to thrive. We also know, as Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton stated at the “1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future” event in New York last month, that prevention is better, and less expensive, than treatment.

The U.S. government is leading programs that focus on preventing malnutrition before it occurs. Core components of this new approach aim at improving the quality and use of health services, caretaker behaviors and dietary intake. Pregnant women and lactating mothers attend monthly pre- and post-natal services and nutrition education sessions while children up to 24 months are weighed and provided with basic care. Sick or malnourished mothers and children are treated or referred for additional care. Mothers and babies receive supplementary food in addition to a household food ration. As the international community recognizes, we need comprehensive approaches that draw from a broad toolbox in order to prevent and treat malnutrition effectively.

In addition to working to improve our programs on the ground, we are increasing the quality and scope of our food assistance commodities. We recently established a pilot effort to introduce and field-test new or improved micronutrient-fortified food aid products. We are also pursuing innovation around the nutritional content, product composition, and packaging of food products delivered through humanitarian assistance programs. Congress made $14 million available to support these two efforts in fiscal year 2010.

The American people will continue to provide emergency food aid assistance to vulnerable populations. And we are working with top researchers to help ensure that the food aid provided has a high nutritional value. With Tufts University’s School of Nutrition, we are examining nutritional needs and how we can best meet those needs — be they in Bangladesh or the Great Lakes of Central Africa — where I’ve seen incredible work being done. The study includes a scientific review of current enrichment and fortification technologies, a review of methods for delivery of micronutrients and an active consultative process that involves industry, academic and operational experts. Ultimately, it will provide recommendations on how to meet the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations with food aid assistance in a cost-effective manner.

While we expect that some time will be necessary to implement the recommendations, make the necessary changes in formulations, and test new products, our purpose is clear: We are committed to delivering high-quality, nutritious food assistance to people in need. As reaffirmed in the Committee on World Food Security nutrition side event last week, nutrition science has pointed the way to interventions that are basic, low-cost and effective. There is political will to scale up nutrition, align our efforts and measure our results. As Secretary Clinton has emphasized, we must use this remarkable opportunity to make a measurable impact on child hunger and malnutrition.

This Week at USAID – October 11, 2010

Administrator Shah opens a weeklong training for over 80 USAID communications staff from USAID Missions all over the world.  These communicators are in Washington, D.C. to engage with senior officials about elevating development, particularly the first-ever national development strategy issued by a U.S. President and “USAID Forward”, the Agency’s change management agenda.  Sessions featured during the week include: a meeting with staff from the National Security Council, a joint session at the annual State Department Public Affairs Officer’s conference, and a panel discussion with leading foreign policy journalists at the Newseum.

Administrator Shah travels to Des Moines, Iowa to speak at the Borlaug Dialogue, which is held each year in conjunction with the awarding of the World Food Prize.  The theme of the conference is: smallholder agriculture, “Take it to the Farmer“.  Dr Shah will focus on how you take interest in fighting poverty to the smallholder farmer.  He will also promote progress under Feed the Future, the Administration’s global hunger and food security initiative.

USAID @UNGA: Working to Energize Private Sector Partnership Development at UN Summit

Submitted by Scott Schirmer, Senior Coordinator, Private Sector Alliances Division, Office of Development Partners

Eleven nations today released at the United Nations a joint Bilateral Donor’s Statement in Support of Private Sector Partnerships for Development. Read into the UN record by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, this ground breaking statement recognizes the tremendous impact that private sector actors have on development and commits the donors to working together to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More importantly, it recognizes the private sector as equal partners on key development issues.

The donors further agreed to proactively enter into partnerships with local and international companies to achieve the MDGs by 2015. USAID is proud of its association with its fellow donor nations and sees this statement as an opportunity to energize its private sector partnership development activities through USAID’s Global Development Alliance mechanism in a new spirit of donor coordination.

A nascent bilateral working group of the eleven nations on private sector partnerships is already in place. This group will enable the participants to share knowledge, identify opportunities and to begin to develop international cooperation on private sector partnerships.

This working group can be leveraged to create a global community of public and private partners – a global Network of Partnerships. Networked partnerships can be the new reality of an interconnected world.  No longer should partnerships be viewed as simple isolated matches: uncoordinated, lacking in strategy, and unrelated to a greater whole. In a globalized and connected world, partnerships should now be networked, complimentary and multi-faceted.

USAID @ UNGA: The Millennium Development Goals are Everyone’s Business

Submitted by Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme Administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark: Official Photo

Helen Clark: Official Photo

I’m looking forward to attending the tonight, to celebrate best practice in the private sector which is contributing to achieving the MDGs. UNDP worked with the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum to organize these awards, along with USAID, DFID, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, the UN Foundation, and the Global Compact Office.

Tonight’s awards honor ten companies which have helped improve the lives of people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Together, they have helped to accelerate our shared work towards creating a world of people who have access to higher incomes, education and more basic services. They show us that it’s possible to do good work and good business, at the same time.

UNDP’s new report, “The MDGs: Everyone’s Business,” cites numerous instances of companies —large and small— which are implementing inclusive business models. Along with the Rainforest Alliance and large buyers, for example, we’re helping coffee farmers in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru sell their coffee at premium price and lift their standard of living. Soon we’ll be launching a new effort to promote inclusive business initiatives in Africa. We’ll be working with officials and businesses to help the African private sector, thereby igniting the economy and creating badly needed jobs, especially for women and young people who often miss out.

Through its investments and activities, the private sector can create jobs, nurture entrepreneurs and innovators, contribute to tax revenue, and meet everyday demand for the goods and services we all use and need—and for which the poorest among us all too often pay the highest prices. It can definitely be a catalyst for change in creating the world we want.

Countdown to MDG Summit: Conversations With America “The Obama Administration’s Work Toward Achieving the Millennium Development Goals”

Conversations With America

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
David Lane, President and CEO, ONE

The Obama Administration’s Work Toward Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Conversations With America
U.S. Department of State

Moderator: PJ Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

September 16, 2010

On Thursday, September 16, 2010, David Lane, President and CEO of ONE, will hold a conversation with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, on global development opportunities and challenges on the eve of the Millennium Development Goals summit.

The discussion will be moderated by PJ Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. The event will be streamed live on this page and DipNote, the Department of State’s official blog, at 10:15 a.m. (EDT). You will have the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions now on DipNote.

This is the sixth in the Conversations with America video series recently launched by the Bureau of Public Affairs, in which the State Department’s senior leadership hold monthly conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. Discussion topics include foreign policy and global issues, and provide a candid view of how leaders from civil society engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues.

If you missed it, please click here.

COUNTDOWN TO THE MDG SUMMIT: Global Investment in Malaria Prevention Could Save 3 Million Lives Over Next Five Years

By Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator

This morning at the National Press Club, I joined the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) to launch the third report from the Progress & Impact Series “Saving Lives with Malaria Control: Counting Down to the Millennium Development Goals”.  The report states that the lives of almost three quarters of a million children in 34 African countries are estimated to have been saved in the past 10 years through the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, and preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy.  The Lives Saved Tool (or LiST model) provides the first assessment of lives saved based on the level of coverage achieved with currently available malaria prevention tools. The report estimates that an additional 3 million lives could be saved by 2015 if the world continues to increase investment in tackling the disease.

Admiral Ziemer hands out a bednet at a distribution site. Photo Credit: USAID/Global Health

The results in global malaria prevention and control are encouraging, but, as we have seen before, this progress is fragile and can be easily reversed.  As we expand and consolidate these gains, it is vitally important to ensure that our efforts not only maintain momentum, but also continue to adapt to emerging challenges such as drug and insecticide resistance. That’s why a key imperative in the United States’ Strategy for meeting the MDGs is to leverage innovation as a powerful catalyst for development.

The U.S. Government’s commitment to fight malaria is a key component of our nation’s foreign assistance strategy and the Administration’s Global Health Initiative to expand the promise of good health that is the foundation of stronger and more stable families, communities, and societies.  On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease.  Working with national governments and other donors, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reached more than 50 million people in the past year with highly effective malaria prevention or treatment measures in 15 focus countries in Africa.

This Week at USAID – August 16, 2010

Administrator Shah will officially swear-in Alex Dickie to be the Mission Director-designate to Iraq and Mike Harvey to be the Mission Director-designate to West Bank Gaza.

Secretary Clinton gives a speech on the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.  The GHI is building on the Bush Administration’s successful record in global health, and taking these remarkable achievements to the next level by further accelerating progress and investing in sustainable health delivery systems.

This Week at USAID – August 2, 2010

Administrator Shah will join President Obama at the White House for a town hall during the Presidential Young African Leaders Forum.  As a global leader in empowering and engaging youth, USAID works to ensure that young people have access to skills and opportunities to be active and effective citizens who contribute to their country’s overall stability and development.

Ambassador Garvelink, Deputy Coordinator of Feed the Future, will speak at two sessions during the International Food Aid and Development Conference in Kansas City.  His keynote address will underscore the U.S. commitment to addressing global hunger and food security, highlighting the whole-of-government approach and goals of Feed the Future.

Dr. Raj. Shah Attends Launch of Pakistan’s Birthspacing Initiative

Dr. Raj Shah at the launch of the Pakistan Ministry of Health’s new Birthspacing Initiative to Improve Maternal, Newborn, Infant and Child Mortality. Photo by Amy Koler.

The U.S. and Pakistan have consulted closely on the shared objectives of addressing Pakistan’s National Health Policy, which outlines the priorities for the nation, which include family planning, maternal and child health, workforce development, and combating infectious diseases to meet the Millennium Development Goals. 

On Sunday, Dr. Shah attended the launch of the Pakistan Ministry of Health’s new Birthspacing Initiative to Improve Maternal, Newborn, Infant  and Child Mortality.  “Overall, (the strategy) will help ensure that pregnancies occur at the healthiest times of women’s lives.  Specifically, it will help reduce high risk pregnancies – those that occur at too late or too early an age, or too soon after a previous pregnancy – through greater use of birth spacing services,” he said.

The Obama administration recognizes that the key to improving health is to strengthen country and local ownership, especially at the community level. ” We know that strong national leadership and capacities are essential for development progress.  Health systems can only thrive where there is wise leadership investing in people, institutions and infrastructure; particularly where governments are responsive and accountable to their citizens. 

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In Mozambique, Religious Leaders Unite Together Against Malaria

PIRCOM has trained more than 21,000 religious leaders from a variety of faiths on malaria prevention and treatment.

Left unchecked, disease imperils the stability and prosperity of all; therefore, improving global health out­comes is a shared responsibility. This means reaching out to community elders, leaders, and religious groups to ensure the quality and reach of health services and messages.

Religious leaders, along with their well-established networks of volunteers and community groups, have the potential to promote and sustain positive changes in the social norms, attitudes, and behaviors of their communities, which can affect development outcomes. Thus the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) engages religious leaders to facilitate greater partnership in, as well as ownership of, a community’s development.

Over the past few years, malaria and other global health programs have increased support to grassroots health movements within faith communities. In addition to promoting health-seeking behaviors, these programs have helped bridge cultural and religious divides.  One such initiative, the Together Against Malaria (TAM) program, arose in 2006 from the common vision of national leaders from 10 faith communities in Mozambique to use their religious organizations to disseminate malaria control messages and commodities. 

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