WFP USA Receives Grant From Astellas USA Foundation for Maternal Health Initiative in Colombia

Published June 21, 2018
Last Updated May 22, 2019

Foundation grant will empower 1,000 women and children victims of violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – World Food Program USA (WFP USA) has received a $150,000 grant from Astellas USA Foundation to help support  a year-long project in Colombia that will provide health services, nutrition support and training for 1,000 women and children who are victims of violence.

“This partnership with Astellas USA Foundation helps WFP USA write a new chapter in America’s legacy of leadership for ending global hunger,” said Richard Leach, President and CEO, WFP USA. “Together, we will leverage food security and health services as an entry point to empowerfamilies, helping them escape the vicious cycle of violence.”

In the wake of massive displacement and migration following years of civil conflict, gender-based violence has made living conditions especially precarious for pregnant and nursing women and children in the metropolitan area of Antioquia, Colombia. The grant from Astellas USA Foundation will help to support an innovative U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) project to empower women and their children through access to health care, economic opportunities and education.

 “Ensuring all individuals have access to the health and medical services they need is a core part of our mission,” said Moyra Knight, president, Astellas USA Foundation. “By supporting the World Food Programme’s Maternal Health Initiative, at-risk women and children can now take charge of their health and their future, building a stronger foundation for generations to come.”

The project provides families with prenatal and neonatal medical attention, nutritional support to improve dietary habits and prevent malnourishment, and psychological and protection services to cope with the impacts of violence. Additionally, women who successfully complete training in business development, marketing and finance education will be connected with employment opportunities to help them achieve economic independence.

“This multi-tiered approach to maternal health, malnutrition and protection is a critical step toward helping women and children affected for family violence rebuild their lives and livelihoods after years of conflict,” stressed Deborah Hines, Country Director, WFP Colombian Country Office.

This initiative builds on the support the Astellas USA Foundation has previously provided to WFP’s Nutrimos El Salvador program, to aid pregnant and nursing women and young children in El Salvador so they receive proper nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, a crucial time in a child’s development.

About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme, the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, we bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about WFP USA, visit

About Astellas USA Foundation
Astellas USA Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that awards grants to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes. To learn more about Astellas USA Foundation, visit

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