“Pioneering” Concern Worldwide and Kerry Group project scoops major World Bank agriculture-for-nutrition award Partnership between two of Ireland’s strongest international brand names wins global Harvesting Nutrition Contest for ‘Potential Impact on Nutrition’ Concern Worldwide is delighted to announce that a pioneering project which it has rolled out in Zambia with the backing of the Kerry Group has won a major international World Bank award for its potential impact on nutrition. The Harvesting Nutrition Contest awards for bridging the gaps between nutrition, agriculture and food security will be presented on Thursday 19th February 2015 in Washington. The Concern-Kerry Group project - known as RAIN (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition) - aims to improve under-nutrition and mortality rates in children under two years of age in the developing world. Under-nutrition in children so young results in stunting, which has long lasting irreversible effects on the physical and mental development of children and is the underlying cause of 3.5 million deaths each year. Concern CEO, Dominic MacSorley, said: “Globally, child under-nutrition and mortality rates have been unacceptably high and we are delighted that this award will bring wider recognition for a unique partnership between Concern and Kerry Group, with additional support from Irish Aid, on a project which integrates agriculture with early nutrition interventions - harnessing the expertise of both organisations - to tackle this massive, but often overlooked, humanitarian issue.” Kerry Group’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Frank Hayes, added: “The RAIN project is a pioneering initiative and one that is making a real and fundamental difference to the health and future prospects of young children from extremely poor backgrounds. The contest attracted 50 submissions for projects around the world and for the RAIN project to be one of three category winners is a real bonus and welcome recognition for our unique partnership with Concern.” Launched in 2011 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Simon Coveney, the RAIN project has seen Kerry Group contribute €1.25m of the overall €3.7m budget to the five year initiative. The full title of the award is the ‘2013 Harvesting Nutrition Contest’. The 2013 in the title refers to the year the 50 competing projects from around the world were initially submitted, but then subsequently monitored and evaluated throughout 2014. As the winner in the category entitled ‘Potential Impact on Nutrition’, the RAIN project will receive a boost of $5,000 and will also be documented by a multimedia portrait. ENDS Contact: Paul O’Mahony: 087 965 3877 Notes for Editors: More about the awards: The World Bank, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Save the Children UK, selected RAIN one of three winning projects of the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform’s 2013 Harvesting Nutrition Contest for bridging the gaps between nutrition and agriculture and/or food security. Category: Greatest Potential Impact on Nutrition. Winner: Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN) - Zambia Category: Most Innovative Approach. Winner: Shamba Shape Up - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda Category: Most Scalable Approach. Winner: N2Africa - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe. More information about the awards: https://www.securenutritionplatform.org/Lists/Events/DispForm.aspx?ID=178 Concern Worldwide and Kerry Group have history… RAIN is the second tie-up between Concern Worldwide and Kerry Group. September 2007 saw the start of a research initiative funded by the Kerry Group and jointly managed by Concern Worldwide and the Washington based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The 3 year programme reviewed the effectiveness of food assistance programmes on HIV affected populations in Uganda and Zambia and on how best to integrate food and nutrition programmes in HIV care and treatment programmes. About Concern: Concern Worldwide is an international, non-governmental, humanitarian organisation dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. It currently works in 25 countries in three continents. About Kerry Group: Kerry Group is the global leader in food ingredients and flavours markets, and a leading consumer foods processing and marketing organisation in selected EU markets. Headquartered in Tralee, the Group has established over 150 manufacturing facilities across five continents and provides in excess of 15,000 food, food ingredients and flavour products through its network of international sales and technical centres to a wide customer base in more than 140 countries. More about the RAIN project: The focus of the new RAIN project is the prevention of stunting – or undernutrition. Stunting has long lasting irreversible effects on the physical and mental development of children and is the underlying cause of 3.5 million deaths each year. Stunting, an indicator of chronic undernutrition, is much more than hampered normal growth; it can cause irreversible brain damage, increases the risk of contracting diseases in childhood and in later life, with consequent knock-on effects of reduced productivity in adulthood and higher health care requirements and costs. Adequate nutrition during a mother’s pregnancy and before age two makes the first 1,000 days the critical period of a child’s most rapid mental and physical development. The RAIN project integrates agriculture and nutrition/health interventions to improve nutritional status within the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy until a child reaches its second birthday. Rigorous data collection and analysis of the project has been conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and integrated into its design. More at: https://www.concern.net/get-involved/involve-your-company/kerrygroup Why Zambia? Zambia was chosen as the location for this innovative project as approximately 45% of its pre-school children are stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition. 3,480 households in Mumbwa District with pregnant women and/or children below the age of two years were selected for the project, reflecting the important period from pregnancy to two years of age.