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SIPA/HA: The Global Crisis of Childhood Malnutrition: A Not-So Natural Disaster

Date:December 03, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm EST
Location:Columbia University
Morningside Campus
International Affairs Building, Room 1501
Contact:For further information regarding this event, please contact Natasha Rothchild by sending email to .

Please join the Humanitarian Affairs Program at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for a panel discussion about the international response to the ongoing crisis of childhood malnutrition. 

Dirk Salomons (Moderator) is the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Program at the School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University. Salomons focuses on the interaction between policy and management in humanitarian operations. Barbara Cooper is the director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of numerous articles and books on the history of Hausa women in the Maradi region of Niger, including "Chronic Malnutrition and the Trope of the Bad Mother". Dr. Anje van Berckelaer is a Philadelphia-based family physician and MSF aid worker who has completed field assignments that included treating children for malnutrition in Niger and the Central African Republic. David Rieff is an author and policy analyst whose books have focused on issues of immigration, international conflict, and humanitarian action, including A Bed for the Night. His current book will investigate the roots of global childhood malnutrition. 

Following MSF's massive intervention during the nutritional emergency in Niger in 2005, when medical teams treated more than 60,000 severely malnourished children, MSF invited a variety of authors to reflect on the multifaceted crisis. The result is the recently released book Niger 2005: A Not-So Natural Disaster, which explores the various lenses through which aid agencies, international institutions, national governments, policy makers, and mothers themselves viewed the crisis and looks at how lessons learned in Niger can be applied to future crises. 

Based on this and other field experience treating malnutrition, MSF has identified key policy and programmatic changes that can be made to improve the dire situation faced by millions of vulnerable children each year in the world's malnutrition hotspots of Southeast Asia and parts of Africa including the Sahel and the Horn. In particular, MSF is calling on the United States and other international donors to scale up effective programs and to make sure that food aid meets the nutritional needs of children.   

Reception: 6:00-7:00pm.

Panel: 7:00-8:30pm 

This event is free, wheelchair-accessible, and open to the public.

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