October 09, 2007

Michael Goldfarb:  Thank you everyone, for joining us today. I'd like to welcome you to the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, press teleconference titled: Food is Not Enough. Today, six days before World Food Day, Doctors Without Borders offices worldwide are issuing a call for increased and expanded use of new and revolutionary ready-to-use therapeutic foods, ideal for treating childhood malnutrition. Malnutrition kills 5 million children a year, and MSF is calling for a reorientation in global food aid programs toward a focus on nutrition and food quality for young children.

We will have brief presentations and then open up the call to questions and answers. First from our side is Dr. Buddhima Lokuge. He will address the inadequacies in current food aid and nutrition policies and the need for scaled-up implementation of ready-to use foods in food donations. Dr. Lokuge is the U.S. manager of MSF's campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. He is a medical practitioner who has worked as a clinician in Australia, and he worked with MSF in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

Following Dr. Lokuge will be Dr. Milton Tectonidis, who will provide an overview of malnutrition in young children. Dr. Tectonidis is a nutrition advisor with MSF currently based in the organization's Rome office. He has been with MSF since 1992 and has participated in numerous field assignments throughout the world. He recently returned from Niger, in west Africa, where he observed MSF's nutrition program in the Maradi region.

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