February 23, 2015 | By Roger Thurow

Good Nutrition in Nepal: A Story from the 1,000 Days

Suaahara, which means “good nutrition” in Nepali, is also the name of an innovative project taking place in the foothills of Nepal. Suaahara is one of the largest single-country nutrition programs in the developing world, and works across development sectors, including agriculture, education, hygiene, sanitation and health.

One of the program’s pillars is homestead food production, such as raising livestock, crop storage, and diversified diets. Model farmers, like Ishwori Acharya, teach other women farming techniques and nutrition. Education for mothers is a similarly important component. Clinics visits for pregnant mothers at the local health post prepare mothers for delivery and to care for their infants. A radio call-program called “Mother Knows Best” reaches 300,000 mothers of children under two years. These efforts help mothers ensure that their children receive proper nutrition during the crucial 1,000 days period.

Suaahara is a program of USAID and the government of Nepal. Partners include Save the Children, Helen Keller International, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communications Programs, and local grassroots groups in Nepal.

Roger’s international reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting


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1,000 Days and Migrant Stress

The first 1,000 days of a child's life is a critical time for development, where nutrition--and stability--lay the foundation for a lifetime. 

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Outrage and Inspire with Roger Thurow - Am I About to Lose My Second Child, Too?

The latest podcast in our ongoing series with Roger Thurow. Hear how even the best nutrition projects can be undermined by bad water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lousy infrastructure.  From northern Uganda, we hear a mother’s agony when her healthy, robust child suddenly falls ill after a few sips of water…unclean water, it turned out.

Roger Thurow on SDG 2.2

Roger Thurow sat down with Farming First to talk about the individual and societal consequences of malnutrition. 




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.

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» Order your copy of the book.


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.

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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?

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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.

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