Yesterday I tuned into the World Food Program USA’s webcast, Mothers Rule the World, where those of us online learned about WFP’s efforts to feed women and girls in the developing world and thereby their entire families. Hosting the web cast was Isatou Jallow, chief of women, children and gender policy at the U.N. World Food Program and Rick Leach, president and CEO of WFP USA.
Great emphasis was placed on school feeding programs where girls are given food to take home to her family. This WFP program allows more girls to go to school because her family knows that by their daughter going to school they will also be provided food to eat through what they call a “take home ration”. This program throughout the developing world has significantly increased girls’ enrollment in schools.
Additionally, Jallow talked significantly about the first 1000 days of a child’d life – pregnancy through two years of age. For the World Food Programme it is essential for pregnant women to get proper nutrition so that their children will not be born underweight.
“If a mother enters pregnancy malnourished the baby can be born with low birth weight and has a disadvnatge right from the start,” said Jallow.
There are a whole host of additional outcomes that arise if a child is born with low birth weight. Cognitive and mental development are delayed. Some children never catch up to their proper weight and become less productive in adulthood.
Additionally I want to share with you the blog of the new Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Etherine Cousin. Cousin was recently in Niger seeing first hand the terrible famine that is growing worse by the day in the Sahel.
Read Cousin’s two posts:
Photo Copyright: Jennifer James