October 13, 2016

1,000 Days at the World Food Prize

The importance of the first 1,000 days has been featured front and center at this year's Borlaug Dialogues. 

Monday's Iowa Hunger Summit enjoyed a keynote speech by Roger Thurow, in which he explained to a captivated audience the long-term impacts of poor maternal and child nutrition via the families profiled in The First 1,000 Days

And, yesterday's release of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition's new report on "Food Systems and Diets: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century" emphasized the absolutely essential nature of nutrition interventions throughout the food system. Here, Howarth Bouis, 2016 World Food Prize Laureate and founding director of HarvestPlus—the work of which is featured throughout Roger's storytelling—advocated for the use of biofortification as an important tool in the fight against malnutrition. 

But perhaps most significant were the words of Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, who presented a keynote this morning. His speech—observed by a packed room of over 1,000 attendees of the World Food Prize—centered specifically on the importance of investing in children. Stunting, which now impacts one out of every four children in the world, is not just about height: the brain itself becomes stunted, hindering a child's lifelong capacity to learn and work. President Kim emphasized a desperate need for good nutrition alongside pre-primary education around the world, for children to reach their potential and spur global economic growth. He implored the audience to "address hunger with the urgency that people who cannot feed their children feel"—stunting holds back entire nations from developing, and must be solved.  

The World Food Prize is a hugely indicative snapshot of the work that's being done around the world to end hunger and poverty. It's clear that the first 1,000 days are solidifying in their importance on this global agenda—and rightfully so. 

 

Archive


| By Roger Thurow

My Moment of Great Disruption

In a 2013 TEDxChange talk, Roger Thurow talks about the smallholder farmers of Africa and the potential for good news in agricultural development.


| By Roger Thurow

Hay Festival 2013: a look at the effects of famine

In the first year classroom of Shemena Godo Primary School, in Boricha, Ethiopia, three dozen children study the alphabet. On a black chalkboard, teacher Chome Muse highlights the letter B and writes the combination with each vowel. Ba, be, bi, bo, bu.

| By Roger Thurow

A Mother's Day parable from Uganda

A mother knows. “This child is brilliant,” Harriet Okaka says about her one-year-old son, Abraham.  She isn’t bragging, just observing.  “I can tell, just by looking at him,” she says, “the way he plays, the way he is.”

| By Roger Thurow

1,000 Days Project

Roger Thurow’s next book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

| By Roger Thurow

Imagine this: food aid reform

As word spread earlier this week of the food aid reform section of President Obama’s 2014 budget, I wondered how Jerman Amente would greet the news.


| By Roger Thurow

Give peas a chance

As the ballots were being counted in the recent Kenya election, I saw photos of people displaying the encouraging message: Give Peace a Chance.  So far, that sentiment seems to be holding.


| By Roger Thurow

Forward ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks.  His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished.  “We are moving forward,” he said.  “Forward ever, backward never.”

| By Roger Thurow

Learning to Fish

In the vast assembly room at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, overlooking one of the nation’s premier food banking facilities, Drexton Granberry joyfully came to the end of his speech.  


| By Roger Thurow

A Thanksgiving Tale: The Hungercloth

I often write and speak about the awful oxymoron, "Hungry Farmers." How can the smallholder farmers of Africa suffer through an annual hunger season when every morning they rise with one task: grow food for their families?


Multimedia

Videos


 


Digital Preview of The First 1,000 Days

In his new book, The First 1,000 Days, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow illuminates the 1,000 Days initiative to end early childhood malnutrition through the compelling stories of new mothers in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago. Get a first-look at photos and stories from the book in this new web interactive.

» Learn more.
» Order your copy of the book.

Books

The First 1,000 Days

Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.

Learn more »

The Last Hunger Season

In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO's, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?

Learn more »

EnoughEnough

Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.

Learn more »