FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Alive & Thrive accelerates efforts with new funding
WASHINGTON, DC—June 2, 2014—FHI 360 announced today that it has received joint funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland to scale up infant and young child nutrition through the Alive & Thrive initiative.
Alive & Thrive has achieved measurable improvements in infant and young child health through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Vietnam. The new funding will enable the initiative to consolidate and document learnings from the first five years of the program and to strengthen capacity in other countries to deliver on their pledge to prevent child malnutrition. Alive & Thrive will share with policymakers, decision makers and program implementers its approaches and tools that helped achieve rapid results.
The 2013 Lancet series on maternal and child nutrition reiterated the importance and urgency of improving feeding practices in the first 1,000 days, from conception through a child’s first two years. Improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices save lives, prevent illness and help ensure a healthier and more productive future.
“We hope that our experiences during the first five program years will catalyze others to apply what works, to innovate and to fulfill the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact,” said Jean Baker, project director for Alive & Thrive. The Compact was signed in June 2013 by 90 stakeholders, including government leaders, donors and development agencies.
The Alive & Thrive initiative engages ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations, and multilateral and bilateral agencies to ensure that all children get the best start in life through good nutrition. These partners enable the initiative to achieve scale through advocacy, community interventions, mass media and the strategic use of data. Advocacy aims to create an enabling environment for improved feeding practices through supportive policies and programming. Community interventions include counseling, coaching and demonstration by frontline workers during interactions with mothers and mobilization sessions with those who influence family feeding decisions. Mass media reaches large audiences with tested messages, and strategic use of data ensures that program design and implementation are driven by evidence.
About FHI 360
FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender equality, youth, research, technology, communication and social marketing—creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today’s interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories.