This malnourished baby is getting health care and food through ChildFund. (Jake Lyell Photography)
We all share in the burden of knowledge that inadequate nutrition for children under the age of 2 creates deficiencies that can never be overcome.
— Anne Lynam Goddard,
ChildFund President and CEO
One Thousand Days to Act
A child's ability to reach his or her full potential depends on a healthy start in life. To ensure infants and young children have that chance, ChildFund works to improve maternal and child health and nutrition.
We fully support the Scaling Up Nutrition roadmap that is guiding the international aid community's efforts to combat undernutrition in the 1,000-day window that starts with a mother's pregnancy and continues until a child is 2 years old.
At ChildFund, we continue to emphasize growth promotion until the child is 3 years old. Scientific evidence demonstrates that children who grow well during these early years have higher academic achievement, are better adapted socially and earn higher incomes as adults. When children have a healthy start in life, they have a greater opportunity to break the bonds of poverty.
Root Causes of Undernutrition
Undernutrition is more common when household income is low. Families enter into a cycle of chronic food shortage, and may eat monotonous, poor-quality diets. These households experience high rates of infectious disease and often lack knowledge to provide appropriate infant care and feeding.
Brazil boy enjoys his meal at an ECD center in Belo Horizonte.
Drought Threatens the Most Vulnerable
Undernutrition is now an urgent concern in the Horn of Africa, where ChildFund works in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Infants and toddlers are at the highest risk of death and lifelong development issues due to inadequate food intake at a young age. Our analysis of drought response efforts shows a gap in the outreach to this vulnerable 0-5 age category.
ChildFund is targeting young children through our existing health facilities and ECD centers. We're also mobilizing a network of trained community health workers to deliver services and monitor child health. In addition, we're directing services to expectant and lactating mothers as another means of ensuring we reach infants.