London/Rotterdam/Beijing, 14th September 2012. The Unilever Foundation and Save the Children launched a global partnership today. The partnership aims to save millions of lives among young children and mothers in China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Kenya. The announcement was made at a joint event held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The Unilever Foundation has made a three-year, 15 million Euros commitment to support Save the Children’s biggest ever global campaign, EVERY ONE, which is working towards eradicating mortality among children and mothers, in support of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals Four and Five.
Unilever and Save the Children have also partnered with China Development Research Foundation (CDRF), and along with the Meishan Municipal Government of Sichuan province, signed a memorandum of co-operation at today’s event to jointly carry out a Village Early Education Center project in Sichuan province.
“Our partnership with Save the Children will deliver transformational change that will impact millions of lives around the world. Today, over 6.9 million children die before their fifth birthday each year – that’s one child every four seconds,” explains Paul Polman, Unilever CEO. “We have an ambition to double the size of our business whilst reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our social impact; looking after the future generations is an intrinsic part of our vision, and it is also our responsibility.”
Janti Soeripto, Save the Children International’s Deputy CEO said: “Unilever’s support will bring us a step closer to ensuring that a health worker is within reach of every child, life-saving vaccines are available for all, and children have enough as well as the right food to grow up healthy. Combining our global reach and joint ambition we can achieve long-lasting change for the world’s most vulnerable children.”
The partnership will involve improving access to health workers and life-saving vaccines, and ensuring children in need are reached with high-impact health and nutrition programmes. It will also provide a platform to catalyse a global movement and generate the public and political will for a global breakthrough on child survival. The partnership encompasses programme funding, consumer outreach, cause-related marketing and employee engagement; and will focus on the priority countries of China, Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria. The Unilever Foundation will be helping Save the Children reach over 2 million children and their mothers by 2015.
In China, Unilever will invest 1.8 million Euros in three years to support Save the Children’s programmes promoting children’s health, nutrition and early childhood development, including the Village Early Education Center project in Sichuan province in partnership with CDRF and the Meishan Municipal Government of Sichuan province.
In Nigeria, the Unilever Foundation will support Save the Children’s work to improve the lives of mothers and their babies in Jigawa and Lagos through quality care and support at the time of birth and immediate post-partum period. The partnership will help to build the capacity of health workers to provide quality services and appropriate care to mothers and their babies and improve access to quality mother and newborn healthcare services in hard-to-reach areas.
With Unilever’s support Save the Children will also tackle childhood malnutrition in Bangladesh by delivering a comprehensive package of nutrition interventions in Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet Divisions. Save the Children will train health workers and support community volunteers to identify and treat malnutrition, whilst providing mothers with the skills to prevent it.
In Kenya Unilever is supporting Save the Children to raise awareness of the scale of child mortality from preventable causes and launch a high impact, emotive campaign that will not only create awareness but also mobilise Kenyans, the Government and other stakeholders to put more effort and resources towards meeting MDG 4 by 2015: a drastic reduction in the number of children that die before their fifth birthday.
Finally, Unilever is supporting Save the Children’s Humanitarian Health Workers work to significantly scale up frontline health capacity so that many more children’s lives can be saved in emergencies.