Concern Worldwide US has been awarded a five-year, $41 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for mother-and-child health programs.

The organization is headed up by chairman Tom Moran who is also the chairman, president and CEO of Mutual of America.

Moran, an extremely popular Irish American success story he has seen first-hand the great work which Concern does in countries from Haiti to East Timor.

The Gates-aided program will start in Malawi, India, and Sierra Leone, countries which all face huge challenges in reaching the so-called 2015 Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health.
The Millennium Development Goals were set up at the UN in 2000 and range from range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.

However, in Sierra Leone, more than 25 percent of children die before reaching their fifth birthday, and in Malawi, one in every 18 women dies during pregnancy or childbirth.

In India and Malawi, two-thirds of mothers and children lack essential health services like vaccinations, skilled care at birth and micronutrient supplements.

Concern Worldwide US is based in New York and runs several major events each year in support of its projects overseas.

 Executive Director Siobhan Walsh has been honored as one of Irish America's "women of influence" and is a tireless worker on behalf of the organization and the people it serves.

 Author Frank McCourt, who passed away recently, was also a huge supporter of the organization which works to help people get up and out from under the grinding poverty of the developing world.