NEW YORK CITY, October 16, 2018 – Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization and the world’s hunger specialist, is creating a better way to deal with deadly hunger by transforming current supply chain models for lifesaving treatment. Today, on World Food Day, Action Against Hunger has announced a cross-sector collaboration with The Department for International Development (DfID), the United Kingdom’s government department responsible for administering international aid, and This Bar Saves Lives, LLC, a leading U.S.-based social impact brand. This three-year pilot program, the largest public-private partnership of its kind, will launch in Somalia in January 2019 and will rapidly increase access to ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), supporting the organization’s long-term goal of doubling the number of children treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) around the world.
This new model provides a far more direct path for private companies and philanthropists to direct their resources toward life-saving hunger treatment, with the infrastructure costs underwritten by a development agency. Action Against Hunger estimates that this initiative will reach up to 250,000 malnourished children during the pilot’s initial three-year term. The use of RUTF to treat uncomplicated cases of SAM in children up to age five is well documented and has been the recommended treatment approach for more than a decade. Half the time, when a child younger than five dies, malnutrition is a root cause.
“The world needs a better way to deal with hunger. Together with This Bar Saves Lives, we’re creating it, so no child is forgotten,” said Andrea Tamburini, CEO, Action Against Hunger. “We aim to double, by 2020, the number of children who have access to lifesaving hunger treatment. World Food Day is an important reminder that it will take sustained focus from consumers, governments, and companies like This Bar Saves Lives for us to achieve that goal, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and ultimately end hunger in our lifetime.”
Somalia is among the top ten countries with the highest prevalence of malnutrition in the world, and the third highest in the eastern and southern Africa region. Drought, combined with the ongoing conflict, is a key contributor to rising malnutrition. Last year, approximately 1.2 million children under age five in Somalia were diagnosed with SAM, yet fewer than one in four had access to treatment. When completed, treatment programs are more than 90 percent effective.
“An effective and efficient supply chain is the single most significant factor in determining how many people we can treat for life-threatening malnutrition,” explained Hajir Maalim, Regional Director, East Africa, Action Against Hunger. “Until now, NGOs had to rely on pre-established arrangements between governments, donors, and UN agencies. That is essential, but not fast or flexible enough. By creating a more direct and responsive pipeline for supplies, and private sector support, we are reimagining this critical piece of the treatment delivery puzzle and dramatically increasing our impact.”
According to Action Against Hunger, the public-private partners bring unique strengths.
- This Bar Saves Lives will donate a percentage of sales from each bar sold over the next three years. There is no ceiling on the total donation amount. In addition to providing a flexible and scalable source of funding, This Bar Saves Lives will use its corporate voice for impact. It aims to educate U.S. consumers about global hunger and provide people with an easy way to make an impact, simply by making a better choice every time they shop.
- DfID is donating USD 5.2 million (GBP 4 million) over the course of four years, which may expand as additional private partners sign on to this model. DfID funding will support implementation of the program and product distribution by Action Against Hunger and the BRICiS Consortium, five international NGOs with long-term experience treating acute malnutrition across Somalia. BRICiS organizations include: the Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI), Concern Worldwide, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children International.
“Hunger is terrible anywhere. It is heartbreaking to travel to places where hunger is more common than the flu and far more deadly,” said Ryan Devlin, Co-Founder of This Bar Saves Lives. “The good news is that, when completed, hunger treatment is extremely effective. This Bar Saves Lives was created to give more kids access to the help they deserve.”
Paul Yoo, Chief Executive Officer, This Bar Saves Lives explains, “If you possess radical hope, you can create radical change. This is why we have a simple giving model: buy a bar, feed a child. We believe people want to improve society and give hope to others. With this new partnership, it's now very easy for all of us to help tackle world hunger together.”
About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist whose primary goal is to create a better way to deal with deadly hunger. For almost 40 years, this global humanitarian organization has been on the front lines treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries; serving more than 20 million people in 2017 alone. Action Against Hunger is the leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. The organization is committed to doubling the number of children who receive urgent hunger care, from three million to six million by 2020. Of every dollar donated, 93 cents go directly to saving lives today and preventing hunger tomorrow.
About This Bar Saves Lives
This Bar Saves Lives is a delicious snack bar brand, and every single purchase gives life-saving food aid to a child with malnutrition. Co-founders Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, and Ravi Patel launched This Bar Saves Lives with a simple motto, "Buy a bar. Feed a child. We eat together." Its snack bars contain premium ingredients and are non-GMO, gluten-free, and Kosher. Through a unique impact model, This Bar Saves Lives has been able to increase their impact while revolutionizing the way private companies drive change in the world. By 2019, more than 10 million life-saving packets of food aid will have been given to children in need, and this is just the beginning.
Products are available in retail stores nationwide, including Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods, and on Amazon.com.