Minister Peter Power announces support for the fight against child malnutrition in Africa
An Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha Preas Ráiteas
Department of Foreign Affairs Press Release
Preas Oifig, Teach Uibh Eachach, Faiche Stiabhna, Baile Átha Cliath 2
Press Office, Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Tel: 353 -1- 478 0822 Fax: 353 -1- 478 5942 / 475 7476
Minister Power announces support for the fight against child malnutrition in Africa
New Measures from Irish Aid as part of hunger initiative
The Minister of State for Overseas Development Peter Power, T.D., today announced funding of €250,000 to support Valid Nutrition, an Irish company which is extending its innovative feeding programme to some of the poorest countries in Africa.
Valid Nutrition and its partners have developed a new approach to the treatment of severe child malnutrition. Endorsed by the World Health Organisation, the Community-based Therapeutic Care (CTC) model targets children before they develop life-threatening complications associated with malnutrition. It provides them with packets of ready-to-eat paste, so they can be treated at home. This reduces the risk of infection and death associated with hospitals and feeding centres. Research has shown that CTC can result in a five-fold decrease in death-rates.
The funding announced today by Minister Power comes on top of €1.37 million already provided to Valid Nutrition by Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development. The latest grant will allow Valid Nutrition to increase capacity at its manufacturing plant in Malawi and extend production and distribution of ready-to-eat pastes to millions of malnourished children, in collaboration with manufacturers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria. .
Minister Power said the Irish Aid funding will make a profound difference to the lives of acutely-malnourished children in the world’s poorest countries:
"Our support will allow this not-for-profit Irish company to extend their life-saving approach to children in the poorest areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands of children will be helped to recover from the serious physical and mental effects of malnutrition. This is crucial for their long-term health and well-being.
I have made the fight against global hunger a cornerstone of Ireland’s official aid programme. The Community-based Therapeutic Care model will play an important role in this effort. We are committed to ensuring that 20% of our total overseas aid budget is devoted to specific actions to reduce hunger" Minister Power said.
"One of the most important aspects of the Valid Nutrition approach is that it uses locally-sourced ingredients to produce its ready-to-use food; it employs local people and it expects the business to become self-financing within three years. This is an excellent model of the effective use of aid to promote lasting improvements to the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable families" he said.
Chief Executive of Valid Nutrition, Derek Staveley said:
"We are very grateful for this recognition and continuing financial support from the Government in the exciting break-though and development of CTC and the use of ready to eat pastes. This funding will be instrumental in treating and preventing malnutrition through making our highly-effective nutritional products available and affordable to those who need them most.
Valid Nutrition, an Irish registered charity, combines best business practice and corporate governance with a not-for-profit status. All profit made from the sale of our foods is reinvested in extending access to these life saving products. Our production adds value to local crops, improving the food security and income of small scale farmers while also providing employment and stimulating economic activity.
We believe that this distinctive approach, of a humanitarian business that ultimately generates its own funding rather than remaining dependent on donations is a model that is very well adapted to the new global economic environment."
Notes to the editor:
For further information on Valid Nutrition or the CTC model of care, please contact Derek Staveley on 087-2319478
For further information on Irish Aid’s involvement, please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs’ press office on 01-4082275/2550
Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Following the presentation of the Hunger Task Force report last September, the fight against hunger is now a cornerstone of the Irish Aid programme.
Valid Nutrition works in partnership with a number of leading NGOs, including Concern Worldwide.
Under the CTC model, children’s malnutrition level is assessed by measuring their upper arm with a measuring tape. The parent is then provided with sealed packed of nutritionally-balanced feeding paste to eat at home.
12 August 2009Top