Let's also shine the light on a very successful program operating in Brazil, one that is a model for other nations. Brazil's school feeding program is part of a series of initiatives that have dramatically reduced hunger and malnutrition.
Every city faces a different local context when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS, and strategies must cater to local needs.
Elementary school classes with 200 kids and only one teacher. Textbooks shared by 10 or more students. Children working off of bricks under a tree, rather than at desks in a classroom. These kinds of learning conditions are the reality in many parts of Malawi.
Many parts of the world have yet to experience the transformation that modern medicine and better public health can bring, but there is rapid progress and very reasonable hope that we will soon live in a world where all families experience this miraculous change.
In 2012, 6.6 million children died before their fifth birthday. While this represents huge progress over past years, in far too many communities parents simply assume that half of their children will not make it.
For people living in the poorest countries in Asia, Oceana, Latin America and Africa, a neglected tropical disease (NTD) called hookworm is one of the leading causes of anemia. Today more than 400 million people suffer from hookworm, making it one of the most common conditions among people living in poverty.
In the United States, eight out of every 1,000 children born die before age 5 every year. In Mali, that number is 16 times higher, according to UNICEF. Globally, 6.6 million children -- almost New York City's entire population -- die before they turn 5.
The World Bank, which for decades has been criticized has overly focused on the construction of dams and other infrastructures as the cure for poverty, is turning its focus to the real engine of economic progress in the developing world: girls and women.
In 2003, I learned I was HIV-positive on a return visit to Zambia. In that moment I felt entirely hopeless as my mother had just recently passed away, too. I had the support of my family and those that I worked with, but no guarantee for my future. Would I, too, be part of the lost generation in Zambia?
Rwanda's success, while remarkable, is not a mystery. Investments were based on the evidence, tackling the biggest threats to child survival by increasing effective interventions such as vaccinations and breastfeeding rates.
On June 9, outside of Seoul, 91-year old Bae Chun-hui took her last gasp of air at the House of Sharing, a communal home established for former "comfort women" in South Korea to live out their remaining years in peace.
While the world promised that by the end of next year every single child would be at school, the total figure for children who are being deprived not just of an education but of the oxygen of opportunity was 57 million last year.
This year, more than 6.5 million children will die before age 5. That is nearly 18,000 children each day.
Long before I joined Action Against Hunger and became fervently committed to ending childhood malnutrition, I had a "nutrition incident." What happened undoubtedly shaped my future approach to the work I do today.
At this pace, we'll definitely fall well short of the commitment made in 2000 by world leaders to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
I know from my experience as a midwife and an academic that midwifery is the best value option for delivering high-quality maternal and newborn care. By a long way, investing in well-educated midwives can give a 16-fold return on investment.
Preventing sexual violence in armed conflict is a matter of international peace and security. Sexual violence fuels conflict, forces people to flee their homes and countries and is often linked to cyclical violence and other human rights abuses.
It's summertime, and with summer break comes the laughter of carefree children in many neighborhoods... But not all of them. When the final school bell rings, millions of kids head home to empty refrigerators.
While driving back from Neshaya Secondary School in Makwa, Zimbabwe, I sat, staring out into the African sky at the rural homesteads that were loosely arranged throughout the land, built from logs, mud and thatch.
Not only are Syrian girls as young as 15 with refugee status being sold into marriage, the marriages are effectively shams and more apparently, sexual servitude -- whereby the wealthy husband divorces his wife after a few days.