LONDON & ROTTERDAM, Netherlands & BEIJING--()--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.
“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.”
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.
Notes to Editors
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with operations in over 100 countries and sales in 190. Consumers buy 170 billion Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day. We have more than 171,000 employees, and generated annual sales of €46.5 billion in 2011. More than half our sales are generated in emerging markets (56% in 2011). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Dove, Vaseline, Persil, Cif, Radox, Sure and Lifebuoy.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental impact (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal). We are also committed to doing what we can to improve health, nutrition and hygiene, with a target to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, as well as sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. All of these goals are itemised in around 50 time-based commitments in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
Unilever has led the Food Producers sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years and has regained the leadership of the Food and Beverage supersector. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2011 Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and were named #1 in the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in GlobeScan Inc. and SustainAbility Ltd’s latest annual survey (2012).
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com
About the Unilever Foundation
The Unilever Foundation is dedicated to improving quality of life through the provision of hygiene, sanitation, access to clean drinking water, basic nutrition and enhancing self-esteem. The Foundation is one action Unilever is taking to help meet its goal of helping more than 1 billion people improve their health and well-being, and in turn, create a sustainable future.
About Save the Children
Save the Children works in more than 120 countries and help to save children's lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential.