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Scaling Up Child And Mom Nutrition

U.S. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to with Halima Abubakary, white scarf, while talking with farmers of the Upendo Women's Cooperative in Mlandizi, Tanzania, Sunday, June 12, 2011.

"Good nutrition in those first 1,000 days lays the foundation for health, development, and even prosperity for the next generation."

Last September, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her Irish counterpart, and other world leaders, launched the "1,000 Days" partnership to improve maternal and child nutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and a child's second birthday.

"Good nutrition in those first 1,000 days lays the foundation for health, development, and even prosperity for the next generation," said Secretary Clinton at a press conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

"We now know conclusively from brain research that is the time when a child’s cognitive, intellectual, and physical development is at most risk. We know that academic ability in school is now directly related to how well-nourished a child was before and after birth. We even know that a child’s earning potential as an adult is still connected to how well-nourished that little baby was. A healthy 1,000 days changes the course of a child’s life, and I would argue it also significantly benefits communities and even countries, because healthy children who get off to a good start will be more productive members of the workforce," said Secretary Clinton.

That is why Secretary of State Clinton and Irish Deputy Prime Minister Mary Coughlan and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore announced a new commitment to Tanzania, where Secretary Clinton noted the government is boldly leading an effort to improve nutrition and food security for its people.

At the event, Tanzanian Prime Minster Mizengo Pinda announced a six point effort to scale up nutrition across the country. The plan includes a national nutrition strategy; the establishment of a high-level steering committee for nutrition; a commitment to incorporate nutrition into activities across sectors; and enforcement of Tanzania's food fortification standards for oil, wheat, and maize flour.

"We stand ready to support nutrition programs that provide high returns," said Secretary Clinton. "I am pleased to announce that . . . . the United States is increasing nutrition funding in Tanzania this year by four times to nearly $6.7 million.

"With this moment, . . . we can chart a better course toward better health for millions of people," she said. "And I hope that Tanzania will become a model for other nations seeking to reduce hunger and under-nutrition, to create economic growth, and improve the lives of people."