National Press Club

Fighting Malnutrition with Women’s Empowerment

Fighting Malnutrition with Women’s Empowerment

May 9, 2012 9:00 AM

Location: Murrow Room

How did child stunting rates in Bangladesh drop 28 percent during a four-year period?

Poverty-fighting organization CARE and US Agency for International Development (USAID) will explain the innovative program behind these impressive results that reduced stunting by more than twice the rate of US government funded programs. Meet the experts, and hear from the families and children who have become healthier because of the program called SHOUHARDO.

As the world leaders come together to Camp David in May for the G-8 Summit to focus on food security, we present findings from the largest non-emergency USAID food security program in the world that reaches 2 million of the poorest people in Bangladesh. The event includes remarks from Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE USA, Faheem Khan, Chief of Party for SHOUHARDO, and a representative from USAID.

Researchers found that women in SHOUHARDO who participated in empowerment interventions to help them fight sexual harassment, move about their communities more freely and gain a greater say in household decisions were less likely to have stunted children than women who only received direct nutrition interventions such as regular food rations. In other words, the children of empowered women actually grew taller.

One of the children featured in the testimonial video is five-year-old Morsheda who recently celebrated her birthday. With the help of SHOUHARDO, her mother received access to nutrition and health programs that integrated discussions on women’s empowerment.
The President’s fiscal year 2013 request of $56.2 billion for the international affairs budget represents an increase of 2.4% -- or $1.3 billion – over fiscal year 2012. As the foreign aid budget comes up for discussion this year, SHOUHARDO demonstrates how effective programs and partnerships can make a sustainable impact on the lives of women, men and children.

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

Stephanie Chen