CARE and Cornell University launch partnership to advance sustainable food systems


Initiative will empower women and families around the world to improve food security, create markets and adapt to climate change

Washington, DC - Today, Cornell University and the global humanitarian organization CARE launched a partnership to advance sustainable food systems to improve food security, stimulate economic growth and adapt to climate change by merging Cornell's cutting-edge research in economic development and sustainability with CARE's experience fighting poverty around the world.

Spearheaded by Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the partnership's Impact through Innovation Fund matches Cornell researchers with CARE development professionals on specific projects, creating a delivery system for research-based solutions to challenges facing chronically food insecure women and families.

"Today marks an important milestone in bringing the impacts of research to our human family, especially its most vulnerable members," said Cornell President David J. Skorton. "By meshing the expertise of Cornell faculty and students with that of CARE professionals on the ground, we are speeding the delivery of sustainable solutions to those who need them most."

For example, in the first round of funded projects, a CARE-Cornell team is fostering business opportunities and increasing crop yields in Ethiopia by providing alternatives to costly imported chemical fertilizers by creating value chains for less expensive, indigenous biofertilizers made from local waste products. The project helps farmers – especially women – grow produce more sustainably. Another newly funded project in Mozambique addresses a chronic challenge of inadequate health care for HIV-infected women and their infants, which exacerbates food insecurity and threatens their path out of poverty. The project uses novel performance-based incentives for health care workers on the frontlines to focus treatment where it is most needed and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease.

"This partnership promotes face-to-face, real-time collaboration between Cornell researchers and CARE staff on the ground that will pioneer new, game-changing approaches," said CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle. "Having top researchers in the communities where we work enables us to rapidly develop and refine innovative solutions to chronic food insecurity. Ultimately, our hope is to scale up what is proven to work so that women and their families can break the cycles of hunger and poverty."

The partnership launch will be hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a leading think tank and convener that provides strategic insights and bipartisan policy solutions to help decision-makers chart a course toward a better world.

The partnership was established with generous gifts to Cornell and CARE from David and Pat Atkinson.

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