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Micronutrient Initiative

Micronutrient Initiative
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 27, 2011 13:50 ET

Government of Canada, Teck and Micronutrient Initiative Announce Partnership to Implement Lifesaving Zinc Treatment Programs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 27, 2011) - Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TCK.A and TCK.B, NYSE: TCK), the Micronutrient Initiative and the Government of Canada -

Editors Note: There is one video and two photos associated with this Press Release.

The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) and Teck Resources Limited (Teck) announced today they are joining hands in a new partnership to develop and sustain zinc treatment programs to help save children's lives.

Private and public partnerships are important to CIDA and the Government of Canada. The partnership between the MI and Teck Resources demonstrates how responsible businesses can take an active role and form working relationships with non-profit organizations to help save the lives of children and of the world's most vulnerable.

"Partnerships are crucial in effective international development. CIDA is proud to have a long standing partnership with the Micronutrient Initiative," said Minister Oda. "Our partnership means that around the world children are healthier and mothers are stronger. This means they have a chance to learn, work and build stronger families and communities."

Zinc is essential for all living organisms. In children, zinc is vital for brain development, growth and the immune system. It can help protect the body from illnesses and to fight infections. According to the World Health Organization, zinc deficiency is one of the leading risk factors associated with diseases such as diarrhea, and one of the most common killers of children in developing countries, contributing to the deaths of 450,000 children under the age of five each year.

"The use of zinc, in combination with oral rehydration therapy, to help children recover from life-threatening diarrhea is well-known. However, this treatment is not being used enough in countries that have high numbers of children dying," said Venkatesh Mannar, president of the Micronutrient Initiative, a leading Canadian development organization. "This new partnership provides a huge boost to zinc programming that will save children's lives."

This new relationship is a public-private-civil society alliance committed to reducing child mortality by scaling up the use of zinc, combined with oral rehydration salts, to treat diarrhea, and by providing zinc supplementation for children over six months old. Each partner will commit resources and leverage support from other private sector and public entities to tackle what is recognized as one of the most serious problems affecting people in the world's developing countries. As the partnership grows, it is anticipated that other stakeholders will join in this effort to strengthen health programs for children.

"The challenge the world faces is not producing more zinc. It is getting zinc into the diets of people suffering from zinc deficiency," said Don Lindsay, president and CEO of Teck Resources. "By partnering with CIDA and the Micronutrient initiative we are putting in place a framework to dramatically improve awareness about zinc deficiency, enhance distribution systems and ultimately save children's lives."

The first project under the Zinc Alliance for Child Health will be to support the Ministry of Health in Senegal to dramatically scale up the use of zinc supplements, along with oral rehydration salts, for the treatment of diarrhoea. Joining the announcement in Ottawa this week is Dr. Mame Mbayame Gueye Dione, head of the Senegal Ministry of Health's Division of Food, Nutrition and Child Survival. "We have been preparing to introduce zinc supplementation in the health system in Senegal for some time," said Dr. Mbayame. "The financial and technical support from this partnership gives us the resources to bring this new treatment to scale in the country and save children's lives. The Zinc Alliance for Child Health will be a new development investment model and we are pleased that Senegal was chosen for the partnership's first in-country project."

The approach is recognized as a high impact solution that supports Canada's Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative objectives. Today's commitment strengthens Canada's aid effectiveness by maximizing committed funds from Canada's private sector, as well as targets Canada's G8 objectives of the Muskoka Initiative for child health, and helps in the efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

About the Micronutrient Initiative

The Micronutrient Initiative is an Ottawa-based, international not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the world's most vulnerable - especially women and children - in developing countries get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive through supplementation and food fortification programs. Its mission is to develop, implement and monitor innovative, cost effective and sustainable solutions for hidden hunger, in partnership with others. With Canadian support, the organization is saving and improving the lives of 500 million people annually in more than 70 countries with its child survival, child development and women's health programs.

http://www.micronutrient.org/English/view.asp?x=1

http://www.micronutrient.org/english/View.asp?x=580

About Teck Resources

Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK.

www.teck.com

www.zincsaveslives.com

About the Canadian International Development Agency

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is Canada's lead agency for development assistance. CIDA's aim is to manage Canada's support and resources effectively and accountably to achieve meaningful, sustainable results. It also engages in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada's effort to realize its development objectives.

BACKGROUNDER

Zinc Alliance for Child Health

The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) and Teck Resources Limited (Teck) are joining hands in a unique partnership called the Zinc Alliance for Child Health (ZACH) to develop and sustain zinc treatment programs that will help save children's lives.

This public-private-civil society alliance is committed to reducing child mortality by accelerating the use of zinc supplements and oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhea, one of the most common killers of children in developing countries.

Why Zinc?

Zinc is essential for all living organisms. In children, zinc is vital for brain development, growth and the immune system. It can help protect the body from illnesses and to fight infections. However, according to the World Health Organization, zinc deficiency is one of the leading risk factors associated with diseases such as diarrhea - 450,000 children under the age of five die from zinc deficiency each year.

Using zinc supplements, combined with oral rehydration therapy, to treat diarrhea in children can greatly reduce the severity and duration of an episode and reduce the chance of death.

The Approach

Each partner will commit resources and leverage support from other private sector and public entities to tackle what is recognized as one of the most serious problems affecting people in the world's developing countries. As the partnership grows, it is anticipated that other stakeholders will join in this effort to strengthen health programs for children.

For the MI, mobilizing funds for therapeutic zinc treatment programs is an ongoing priority. The MI continues to be a trusted and leading organization on micronutrient programs supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

To achieve the greatest impact, Teck is reaching out to other private sector partners to join the alliance and to contribute financial and in-kind support. The greater the collaboration, the greater the impact this partnership will have to mitigating the health effects from child malnutrition.

This approach is recognized as a high impact solution that supports Canada's Maternal, Newborn and Child Health objectives.

ZACH Projects

ZACH will work to establish a five country model for specific projects that will involve zinc supplementation, combined with oral rehydration therapy.

Therapeutic zinc treatment in Senegal:

Senegal has been proposed as the initial project location for this partnership. Diarrhea is ranked among the five most frequent diseases affecting the population of Senegal and can be linked to several interconnected causes. One quarter of Senegalese children under the age of five are affected by diarrhea, and more than one in ten do not reach their fifth birthday. Despite the establishment of a national diarrhea treatment program in Senegal in the late 1980s, the use of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) to treat diarrhea remains very low.

In the last two years, Senegal's Ministry of Health has initiated several changes in its diarrhea treatment policy to adopt the World Health Organization (WHO) new guidelines, including zinc supplementation and an improved formulation of ORT. A national zinc steering committee has been set up, in which MI is currently playing a major supporting and advisory role.

A situation analysis has been conducted; therapeutic zinc guidelines, tools and training manuals have been drafted; and zinc tablets have been incorporated into the list of essential medical drugs. Together with UNICEF and other agencies, MI has been gathering evidence of what works in Senegal and other countries. Government motivation is strong to make progress and the building blocks are set solidly for investment.

The ZACH project will roll out Senegal's first large-scale program to treat diarrhea through therapeutic zinc combined with ORT. As with the introduction of any product into a new market, the need for thorough market research to ensure the consumer is getting the correct message is essential. The MI will use its expertise and experience to ensure supply chain efficiencies, policy guidelines and ongoing monitoring systems are in place. An evaluation component will be vital throughout all stages of the program roll-out to ensure that adjustments can be made and lessons can be shared as this intervention gets scaled up, both nationally and around the world.

This project will provide a foundation on which to expand zinc supplementation efforts globally. It will also showcase the results that can be achieved through private-public-civil society partnerships.

To view the video associated with this Press Release, please visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps5IKHGzCRA

To view the photos associated with this Press Release, please visit:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110624-teck-1.jpg

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