Initiative to scale up nutrition for 100 million women and girls –
launched today by the Micronutrient Initiative
May 18, 2016
COPENHAGEN, Denmark –
One hundred million women and girls worldwide will have access to
better nutrition, thanks to the Right Start Initiative launched today
by the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), with the support of the
Government of Canada.
Malnutrition remains one of
the most persistent barriers to human development and it limits the
capacity of generation after generation of women and girls to grow,
learn, earn and lead. One billion women and girls are malnourished –
and the cost of that lost potential undermines global progress in
multiple areas of human endeavour, including our capacity to achieve
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Today, Canada reinforced its
global leadership on nutrition by supporting the Micronutrient
Initiative in launching the Right Start Initiative, a ground-breaking
investment platform with aim of reaching 100 million women and girls
with improved nutrition by 2020.
"We are in 2016 and yet one
billion women and girls around the world are malnourished. Canada
recognizes the importance of investing in initiatives like Right Start
to change the status quo for women and girls around the world," said
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's Minister for International Development
and La Francophonie.
The Right Start Initiative
has five strategic pillars, including high impact programs,
partnerships, resource mobilization, technical assistance and
advocacy. Right Start aims to rally the international development
community to generate the know-how, resources and solutions necessary
to empower women and girls through improved nutrition.
With $75 million in anchor
support already invested by the Government of Canada, MI is launching
programs in nine countries across Africa and Asia that will reach 50
million women and adolescent girls by 2020.
Now, MI is using those
strategic investments as a launch point for leveraging additional
support, from donors, countries and partners, to double its impact.
Canada's support has already generated additional support, including a
$1.5 million investment from the Australian Agency for International
Development and a strategic partnership with the government of
Indonesia to improve nutrition for one million pregnant women and
children in two of Indonesia's high burden provinces.
"Malnutrition is one of
humanity's longest running battles," said Joel Spicer, President and
CEO of the Micronutrient Initiative. "The question all of us need to
start asking is how do we bring about the beginning of the end of
malnutrition? Initiatives like Right Start are a spark that moves us
closer to the answer. It starts by doing much more for women and