Clinton, Affleck seek to lower child death rates
WASHINGTON (AP) - June 14, 2012 (WPVI) -- What do Hollywood superstar Ben Affleck and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have in common? Both Clinton and Affleck think every child across the world deserves a fifth birthday.
The actor and diplomat embraced as they crossed paths onstage this morning at Child Survival Call to Action, a conference hosted by the government in collaboration with Ethiopia, India and UNICEF to recognize and promote efforts to curtail child mortality.
During her speech Clinton announced that more than 60 faith-based organizations from 40 countries were joining the fight to end preventable childhood deaths through promotion of breastfeeding, vaccines and healthcare for children.
Saving children's lives "cannot be just a job for governments," Clinton said.
Clinton praised the Ethiopian and Indian governments for their efforts to reduce child mortality.
Affleck explained how the organization he founded, Eastern Congo Initiative , played a role in diminishing child mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, emphasizing the importance of supporting Congolese efforts within their own communities.
"The Congolese must lead in this effort," Affleck said.
He called high death-rates for children under 5 years old "abhorrent" and "unacceptable," but he praised Kenya, Senegal and Rwanda for their success in lowering those rates.
Affleck and Clinton were two of more than 80 governmental, civil society and business leaders slated to speak at the conference Thursday and Friday. More than 750 people attended the first session at Georgetown University.
child death, ben affleck, bill clinton, washington, d.c., entertainment
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