Call to Action: Child Survival

EASTERN CONGO INITIATIVE FOUNDER BEN AFFLECK JOINS SECRETARY CLINTON AND GLOBAL LEADERS IN D.C. TO PROMOTE CHILD SURVIVAL

“Call To Action” Aims To Chart A Course Toward Ending Preventable Childhood Deaths In The DRC And Around the Globe

Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) Founder Ben Affleck will join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and other global leaders on Thursday, June 14th in Washington D.C. to deliver commitments to ending preventable child mortality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and worldwide in the event Child Survival: Call to Action. The DRC currently has the 5th highest under-five mortality rate in the world.

Despite considerable progress in reducing child mortality globally over the past half century, particularly in the past two decades, high rates of under-five deaths in the DRC persist. In what can be described as nothing less than an epidemic in DRC, 148 out of 1000 children will not reach five, according to USAID. Affleck stated: “this is a chance for the U.S. to lead on this crucial issue in DRC. We wouldn’t allow four year-olds to die from preventable diseases in the U.S. – nor should we let it happen in Congo or anywhere else.”

Although the situation is grim, ECI believes that potential for change in Congo is abundant. Nearly 90 percent of all arable land remains uncultivated, largely due to insecurity. Once a breadbasket of Africa, this virtually untapped resource could return and transform the lives of millions of children and countless communities in central Africa.

Eastern Congo Initiative believes that supporting Congolese-led organizations as they develop and implementing Congolese solutions is the most effective way of harnessing this potential and moving the country forward on a path of progress. As such, Mr. Affleck will be joined at the event by Dr. Jo Lusi and Dr. Denis Mukwege from ECI partners HEAL Africa and Panzi Hospital respectively, who will share Congolese voices and commitments to eliminating needless child mortality.

We invite you to help us chart a new course forward on keeping kids alive in the DRC. Please join us at apromiserenewed.org on Thursday, June 14 beginning at 8:30 am (EST) to view the live webcast of the event. A schedule of the event can be viewed here: Child Survival: Call to Action.

The event is open to the press. To RSVP, please contact us at: 5thBday@usaid.gov.

For media inquiries regarding Ben Affleck, contact Shawn Sachs: sachs@sunshinesachs.com, 212-691-2800.

ECI is the first U.S. based public advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. For more information on the situation in eastern Congo, and the work ECI is doing to support child survival, please visit www.easterncongo.org

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