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Alive & Thrive expands nutrition efforts to India and Nigeria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Alive & Thrive expands nutrition efforts to India and Nigeria

WASHINGTON, DC—December 3, 2015—Alive & Thrive has received additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to scale up infant and young child nutrition in two countries: India and Nigeria.

In the first five years of program implementation (2009-2014), Alive & Thrive achieved measurable improvements in infant and young child feeding practices in three countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. Alive & Thrive’s comprehensive programs reached a total of 16 million mothers of children under two years and led to rapid increases in breastfeeding and complementary feeding behaviors in the three countries. Today, our work continues in Ethiopia, and has expanded into Burkina Faso and six additional countries in Southeast Asia. In Bangladesh, we are currently testing the feasibility of maternal nutrition interventions.

In both India and Nigeria, we will adapt Alive & Thrive’s proven, comprehensive framework for delivering nutrition results at scale. The framework consists of advocacy, interpersonal communication and community mobilization, mass communication, and strategic use of data to improve health outcomes.

Beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2020, Alive & Thrive will work in India at the national level and in two states: Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This investment will allow us to expand our existing efforts to prevent malnutrition and reduce child deaths and illness in India. At the national level, we will provide technical support to Ministries such as Women and Child Development, and Health and Family Welfare, and pursue other opportunities to influence national nutrition policies and programs. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, we will provide timely technical support and help build the capacity of programs of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); National Health Mission (NHM); and State Rural Livelihood Mission (self-help groups for microfinance projects) in addition to other partners, to accelerate scale-up of maternal and child nutrition interventions.

Also beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2019, Alive & Thrive will implement comprehensive programs to save lives and boost healthy growth and development in two states of Nigeria: Kaduna and Lagos. Our efforts will aim to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices and advance policies to support optimal breastfeeding.

“We are pleased to offer Alive & Thrive’s proven framework and tools to expand and scale up nutrition programs in India and Nigeria,” said Jean Baker, Alive & Thrive’s Global Project Director. “By working together with national and local partners, we can make an impact on breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices and, ultimately, build healthier futures for children and communities.”

About Alive & Thrive
Alive & Thrive is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and contribute to healthy growth and development through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. Good nutrition in the first 1,000 days, from pregnancy to two years of age, is critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives. Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland, and managed by FHI 360.

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