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U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Jenna Bush Hager Announce Next Generation Initiative to Improve Lives of Children Around the World
Date:7/23/2009

NEW YORK, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced today the launch of UNICEF's Next Generation to engage young adults with UNICEF's mission to save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world. UNICEF's Next Generation steering committee is dedicated to reducing the number of preventable deaths of children, from 25,000 per day, to zero. Jenna Bush Hager, a longtime supporter of UNICEF, will lead the steering committee and host UNICEF's Next Generation launch event on Thursday, July 23rd at The Gates, a venue in New York.

"Every day, 25,000 children die from preventable causes. We believe this number should be zero," said Jenna Bush Hager, Young Leadership Ambassador & Chair, UNICEF's Next Generation. "By spreading awareness, volunteering, fundraising and advocating for UNICEF's lifesaving programs, we hope to mobilize a new generation, and end the senseless deaths of so many young children."

UNICEF's Next Generation will study the most pressing issues facing children around the world and fund a changing list of projects. Their first endeavor focuses on the issue of malnutrition in Latin America by championing the use of a product known as Sprinkles. These single-dose sachets contain the essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamins C, D, and A, and folic acid in a powdered form, and are easily sprinkled onto any foods prepared in the household.

"Malnutrition is life threatening - particularly during the first two years of life. Lack of nutrition compounds otherwise non-life threatening infections and conditions, making young children more susceptible to death," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Sprinkle packets are a low cost, simple and highly effective intervention that can help us make enormous strides towards unacceptably high rates of child mortality."

A UNICEF endorsed report released earlier this year, finds approximately 670,000 children under the age of five die every year due to lack of vitamin A in their diets. Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) during pregnancy is associated with 115,000 fatalities annually, accounting for one fifth of total maternal deaths. And iodine deficiency, while greatly improved through salt-iodization campaigns, still affects nearly 50 countries.

Jenna Bush Hager and UNICEF's Next Generation have committed to raising $175,000 to ensure that the gains of recent years in combating preventable deaths, ill health, disability and impaired learning are not reversed and that the availability of Sprinkles for in-home use in Guatemala is scaled up.

To help reach our goal to combat malnutrition and reduce the number of daily deaths to zero, please visit www.unicefusa.org/donate/nextgeneration

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.


Despite extraordinary progress, 25,000 children still die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org


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SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF
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