One thousand days ago, the governments of the United States and Ireland came together to commit to promote nutrition for mothers and young children through the 1,000 Days partnership. Why 1,000 days? During the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2, better nutrition can have a lifelong impact on a child’s future and help break the cycle of poverty.
Today, during an event co-hosted by Bread for the World Institute and Concern Worldwide, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah and Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello renewed the U.S. and Irish governments’ commitment to the goals of the 1,000 Days partnership.
“Ensuring that a child receives adequate nutrition during the critical 1,000-day window from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday can yield dividends for a lifetime, for children, for families and for nations. A well-nourished child will perform better in school, more effectively fight off disease, and even earn more as an adult, contributing more to their society,” Dr. Shah said at the event. “We will continue to work with our partners to promote targeted action and investment in nutrition, utilizing the scientific evidence behind cost-effective interventions that are proven to improve nutrition and save lives, especially for women and children.”
Since its launch in 2010, the 1,000 Days initiative has made progress in mobilizing partners to support country-led nutrition strategies and increase action and investments designed to improve the nutritional status of women and children during the 1,000 day window. The 1,000 Days partnership has grown to include over 80 entities from civil society, academia, businesses, and government. All of these partners have come together to raise awareness of the importance of the 1,000 days window, champion greater action and investment in maternal and child nutrition, and catalyze partnerships among different sectors to scale up efforts to reduce malnutrition.
By shining a light on the strong returns on investment and the science of the 1,000 days window, the 1,000 Days partnership has brought about a sea-change in the way donor and country governments and other partners target their policies, programs, and investments to improve the nutritional status of women and children.
At today’s event, Dr. Shah announced that the U.S. government has nearly doubled nutrition-specific funding through our global health programs and has tripled agriculture funding since 2008. Dr. Shah also announced that the U.S. government is providing more than $1 billion for nutrition-specific interventions and nearly $9 billion on nutrition-sensitive activities over fiscal years 2012-2014.
You can read Dr. Shah’s full remarks here, and you can read the 1,000 Days partnership progress report of the first 1,000 Days of action here. Learn more about U.S. government investments in nutrition by visiting feedthefuture.gov.
This post originally appeared on the U.S. Department of State Dipnote blog. Visit our page on nutrition for more updates this week.